West Bromwich firm fined £47K for illegal discharges into sewer network
Making illegal discharges into Severn Trent Water's sewer network has cost Arrow Environmental Services more than £60,000 in fines and costs. The West Bromwich-based firm appeared before Wolverhampton Crown Court yesterday (May 19) following a prosecution brought by Severn Trent Water for a breach of the Water Industry Act 1991.
Between February 5, 2014 and October 25, 2014, Arrow Environmental Services discharged trade effluent into a public sewer that was above permitted limits on ten separate occurrences.
Fining the company £47,000 and ordering it to pay nearly £14,000 in costs, the judge found that Arrow Environmental Services had taken "somewhat of a cavalier" approach, in particular in respect of a phenol failure. As such, he found that some of the failures were reckless and some of them negligent.
The case had been referred to the Crown Court as the maximum fine that could be imposed by the Magistrate’s Court was deemed to be insufficient when the case was heard there earlier this month.
This was the second time that Arrow Environmental Services had been successfully prosecuted by Severn Trent Water. Even after the legal notice was served, the company was found to have committed further offences of discharging effluent above the legal limits into the sewer network.
Martin Kane, chief engineer for Severn Trent Water, said: “We’re really disappointed to have had to prosecute Arrow Environmental Services Limited once again. We’re even more disappointed that this is not the end of the story and that we’re now considering further prosecutions based on yet more failures from them.
“Our customers pay for damage to the sewer network and the treatment works, so it’s important that we prosecute offenders in appropriate cases and take action to recover costs where possible.The limits we set to regulate trade discharges are calculated to make sure they don’t adversely affect the ability of our sewage works to efficiently treat sewage. So exceeding this consent is not only illegal, it can also damage the sewage treatment process and so risk causing harm to the environment.”
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