The company, the largest water and wastewater business in the UK, has been fined and ordered to pay costs totalling £61,049 following the damage to two rural brooks in Hampshire and Berkshire.

The firm has already pleaded guilty to causing sewage sludge to enter the Silchester Brook, in Hampshire and the Foudry Brook, in Berkshire, in July 2010 and asked for a breach of its condition to discharge treated effluent to be taken into consideration.

The leaks happened when a mechanisms used to store at the Silchester Sewage Treatment Works in Hampshire failed.

At Winchester Crown Court yesterday (December 8) the fine of £29,985 and costs for the Environment Agency’s of £31,049 and a £15 victim surcharge, were handed down.

However, Thames Water dodged a heavier fine after the court took into account the company’s early guilty plea and reduced the fine from £50,000.

Environment Agency lead investigating officer, Claire Bale, said: “We take these types of incidents very seriously and will do everything within our powers to safeguard the environment and people affected, and that includes bringing those who harm the environment to justice.

“We would like to thank those members of the public who reported the pollution to our incident hotline as they enabled us to trace the extent of the brook affected early on, allowing us to prevent the situation from being even worse.

“We are also grateful to the landowners that assisted us during this incident by granting access to their land and for offers of help.”

Luke Walsh

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