Beds, Herts & Bucks

Thames Water fined £1m over sewage leak into Grand Union canal at Tring

Tring treatment plant Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Sewage leaked from the Tring treatment plant on nine occasions

A water company has been fined £1m for polluting the Grand Union canal with sewage from faulty inlet screens at a treatment plant in Hertfordshire.

Effluent from the Tring plant leaked into the Wendover Arm on nine occasions between July 2012 and April 2013.

The pollution affected plant and fish life and at one point the entire width of the canal was covered in sewage.

Thames Water was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court after pleading guilty to breaching environmental regulations.

The company had 106 previous convictions for environmental offences but pleaded guilty to two breaches on this occasion.

The court was told that it had now spent £30,000 repairing the faulty screens.

Regret for incident

Judge Andrew Bright QC said: "It was entirely foreseeable that the blockages would lead to pollution of the water."

Thames Water must also pay £18,113 prosecution costs, he said.

A spokesman for Thames Water said after the sentencing: "We take our responsibilities to the environment extremely seriously and very much regret this incident.

"We have since invested heavily in Tring sewage works to further improve resilience and protect the Grand Union Canal."

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