Severn Trent fined for supplying water 'unfit for human consumption'
Coventry magistrates fined Severn Trent Water £66,000 yesterday after the utility pleaded guilty to 11 counts of supplying water "unfit for human consumption". National watchdog, the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) had brought the case against Severn Trent after tap water in the village of Broadway, Worcestershire was found to be contaminated in November 2012.
The DWI had alleged that the contamination meant Severn Trent Water had breached the Water Supply Regulations Act 2000.
A pipe from a treated reservoir had failed, and a team of engineers worked around the clock for three days. Severn Trent flushed out the water pipes for 72 hours at the time of the incident, and the company said sewage had not entered the system.
However, it is thought the fractured pipe had allowed surface water run-off from the surrounding area, which included slurry from a cattle holding, to enter the system.
Subsequent investigations by Severn Trent found E. coli and Crypt sporidium bovis in the water leaving the reservoir. The company advised customers two days later not to drink the water without boiling it first, and it also supplied bottled water.
Supplies returned to normal on December 3, 2012.
Severn Trent was fined £6,000 on each of 11 counts under Section 70 of the Water Industry Act 1991, totalling £66,000. It paid £25,950 towards prosecution costs as well as a £120 victim surcharge.
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