South West Water fined for polluting River Yeo

South West Water (SWW) has been fined £20,000 for polluting the River Yeo near Crediton in Devon.

The case was brought by the Environment Agency (EA) after sewage was seen gushing from a treatment works.

An ecological survey found that river life had been severely affected by pollution after the incident on 19 June 2010.

Exeter magistrates fined South West Water £20,000 and ordered the firm to pay £8,000 costs.

Dead fish

The court heard that a passer-by alerted the EA which saw sewage in the river for about 700m downstream of the outfall.

Dead fish in the river included 38 bullheads, five stone loach and a young salmon.

South West Water admitted discharging noxious or polluting matter into inland freshwater and operating a sewage treatment works while in breach of its site permit.

Mischka Hewins, from the EA, said after the case: "The number of fish killed was probably higher as we only counted dead fish visible in shallow water.

"In all likelihood, more fish casualties would have been out of view in deeper water."

SWW was unavailable for comment.

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