Somerset dairy farm fined for pollution offence
A Somerset dairy farm has been ordered to pay £9,425 in fines and costs for allowing dirty water to escape from a storage lagoon.
The case was brought by the Environment Agency.
On 4 April 2016 the Environment Agency visited Clandown Farm, Pows Hill near Radstock to investigate a report of slurry pollution. The source of the pollution was not found, but an officer later discovered dirty water leaking from the base of a lagoon used to store milking parlour washings. The lagoon, that had earth banks and a clay lining, also contained dirty water from the farm yard.
Instead of repairing the lagoon, the farm operators, Brunt Partners, had installed a drain to carry the leaking liquid away to a soakaway in a nearby field where it could cause pollution and possibly contaminate groundwater.
Appearing before Bath Magistrates, Brunt Brothers were fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £4,245 costs after pleading guilty to an offence under the Environmental Permitting Regulations of causing or knowingly permitting an illegal discharge of dirty water. The penalty reflected the fact the discharge to the soakaway was deliberate and the pollution had continued over a prolonged period of time.
The operators have since repaired the storage lagoon and improved drainage at Clandown Farm.
Magistrates heard there had been previous pollution incidents at the farm. In 2013 a slurry wall collapsed and a large amount of slurry escaped into the Wellow Brook.
The Environment Agency’s Andrew Grant said: “Slurry and dirty water lagoons can cause serious pollution. This case shows how important it is for farm operators to invest in and adequately maintain these structures to prevent illegal discharges that can harm the environment.”
- EA secures £36.5M for Hull flood defence scheme A major flood defence scheme is being launched in Hull after the Environment Agency (EA) secured £36.5M in government... Read More >
- EU funding sought to address St Austell flood issues South West Water's (SWW) investment to address flooding issues at the Brooks Corner area of Par, Cornwall, is being... Read More >
- Sonde monitor helps EA convict river pollution culprit Pouring waste into sewers rather than taking it to an approved site for disposal has cost luxury coach firm Symphony... Read More >
- New Connections: will reforms help utilities serve developers better? Reforms to the way that water companies charge for new connections are the most visible element of a drive from Ofwat to... Read More >
- Comment: What could retail competition do for customers? Domestic retail competition could provide an opportunity to look again at how we determine the price of water to the... Read More >
- Comment: Sludge all set for reform The opening of the bioresources market presents water companies with an opportunity to do things differently, but what... Read More >
- Interview: Ben Jeffs, Chief Executive, MOSL “The whole industry has really mobilised around market opening, and the water companies deserve credit for that.” Read More >
- Close-Up: Who will be the big fish in the new water retail market? With a £2.5BN new market for non-domestic water retail to open in England in April, joint ventures, incumbents and new... Read More >