Severn Trent Water Handed Huge Fine For Sewage Spills


Severn Trent Water customers look away now, as the company has just been fined over £2m for discharging huge amounts of raw sewage at treatment works in Stoke.

The supplier was prosecuted by the Environment Agency after the discharge into the River Trent from Strongford Wastewater Treatment Works (WTW) near Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, between November 2019 and February 2020.

Robbie Moore, the Minister for Water and Rural Growth, welcomed the decision to punish the company: “It is absolutely right that those who damage our natural environment pay for their actions,” he said.

“No one should profit from illegal behaviour and that’s why last week we announced a crackdown on bonuses for water company bosses.

“Severn Trent’s fine will be put into our Water Restoration Fund, which will channel money directly back into projects that improve water quality. And through our Plan for Water we are delivering more investment, stronger regulation and tougher enforcement – ensuring those who pollute our waters are held to account.”

Huge Discharge

The case was brought before magistrates in Cannock, Stafford, on Monday 19 February 2024, with District Judge Kevin Grego concluding that there was “a reckless failure by the company to have in place and implement a proper system of contingency planning”.

At a previous hearing, the company had pleaded guilty to two charges of illegally discharging raw sewage. The judge fined the company £1,072,000 and £1,000,000 plus costs of £16,476.67 and a victim’s surcharge of £181.

The court heard that during the time period in question, approximately 470 million litres of raw sewage was discharged, of which approximately 260 million was done so illegally as it was in contravention of the conditions of the Environmental Permit.

According to the Environmental Agency, the figure of 260 million litres is the equivalent to just over ten Olympic-sized swimming pools.!

As reported on the government’s website, Adam Shipp, a Senior Environment Officer at the Environment Agency, who led the investigation, said:

“Severn Trent were fortunate that this incident did not cause a catastrophic pollution in the Trent as the river already had high flows when the discharge occurred.

“Our investigation showed that their contingency plans were woefully inadequate with a major pump being out of action for 52 days prior to the incident.

“Even though Severn Trent knew Storm Clara and Storm Dennis were about to arrive they did not think to proactively source alternative pumps and get them to site.

“When the second of the three pumps failed it made sourcing and installing a replacement pump very difficult and as a consequence, the works was not properly functioning for another five days and eight hours.”

“This is not the sort of response we would expect to see from a professional multi-national company and as a consequence, they have now put in place on-site measures to ensure that an incident like this does not happen again.”

Customers Of Severn Trent Water

If you’re a customer of Severn Trent Water then you may be concerned about this news. After all, you want to trust the company that’s dealing with your water supply is doing so responsibly!

As a business owner, clearly, the service you can expect to receive from your supplier, as well as the amount you pay for your bills, is paramount. If the company you choose to give your hard-earned cash to isn’t performing as you’d expect them to, then perhaps it’s time for a change.

This is why it sometimes pays to switch business utilities, especially as a business owner. If you own your own company then bringing down the cost of your outgoings is one of your primary concerns, and so is knowing you’re partnered with a reliable supplier.

So if you’re on the lookout for a water supplier that meets your needs and preferences, we’re here to help you. As a water broker, we have access to hundreds of different tariffs with dozens of water suppliers across the UK.

By explaining to us what you’re looking for in your supplier, we can help you find the best deals on the market, saving you time, money and ensuring you get the service you expect from your supplier.

So to find a company with the best service, speak to us today and we’ll help put you in touch with some of the country’s most trustworthy suppliers.

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