Company fined for illegal discharges

A metal finishing company has been prosecuted by Severn Trent Water for illegal discharges into the sewer network.

A Gilligan (Coatings) Ltd was fined £2,000 at Birmingham Magistrates Court following a case brought by Severn Water for breaching the Water Industry Act 1991.

The company was found to have discharged eight times the permitted limit for zinc.

Severn Trent Water waste water services director, Simon Cocks, said: "The limits we set to regulate trade discharges are calculated to ensure they do not adversely affect the capacity 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."

Customers have to pay for damage to the sewer network and treatment works, which means water companies are keen to prosecute offenders and take action to recover the costs.

Severn Trent Water remarked that rather than take court action, they would prefer to work with companies to prevent breaches occurring in the first place. Alison Brown



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