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Southern Water fined for environmental breach

Southern Water to pay £57,000

Southern Water has been ordered to pay £57,218 after falling foul of an environmental permit at Tunbridge Wells North Wastewater Treatment Works.

The water company has been fined £24,000 and agreed to pay costs of £33,218 after an Environment Agency (EA) investigation found that the company failed to meet the conditions set out in its environmental permit for treatment works.

The EA said that Southern Water has an environmental permit to discharge treated effluent from the plant to the Somerhill Stream, however the limit was exceeded between July 2013 and July 2014.

It added that the conditions of the environmental permit were set to support a healthy river for wildlife and recreation.

Southern Water pleaded guilty to the charges under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010.

In mitigation, Southern Water stated that it had already spent £360,000 on improvement to the treatment works with a further £6M investment planned for the future.

“We take these incidents very seriously and do everything within our powers to safeguard the environment and people that may be affected,” said EA environment manager David Willis.

“We expect companies to take all necessary actions to comply with the conditions set out in environmental permits and welcome Southern Water’s commitment to spend a further £6M on planned improvement works.”

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