South West Water fined over River Menalhyl pollution

  • 21 June 2012
  • From the section Cornwall

A water company has been ordered to pay more than £18,800 for polluting a river in north Cornwall.

South West Water (SWW) admitted three offences after sewage was found in the River Menalhyl, near St Columb, in 2011 by the Environment Agency.

The agency found a leak in a main sewer into St Columb Sewage Treatment Works.

Magistrates in Bodmin fined the water company £15,000 and ordered it to pay £3,820 costs. SWW said it had replaced sections of the sewer.

'Repeated sewer blockages'

Stephen Clark, from the Environment Agency, said the pollution was caused by SWW's "inability to respond speedily to repeated sewer blockages".

"This adversely affected water quality, and put animals and plant life at risk," he said.

SWW pleaded guilty to three offences of discharging poisonous, noxious or polluting matter into a tributary of the river.

The river flows into a designated bathing water at Mawgan Porth.

The company said it accepted responsibility and the problems had been caused by a sewer which had become defective.

It said it had invested £47,000 to clean the sewer and replace defective sections.

"Monitoring has shown that the River Menalhyl has fully recovered from the events," the firm said.

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