Advertisement

Thames Water fined £20 million

Thames Water has been fined a record £20 million for polluting the River Thames with 1.4 billion litres of raw sewage.

View all 5 updates ›

Thames Water fined a record £20million for environmental disaster

Thames water has been fined a record £20.3m after it admitted pumping 1.4 billion litres of raw sewage into the Thames.

People and animals were left sick and hundreds of fish and birds died over a two-year period when "out of control" sewage treatment centres owned by Thames Water, sent untreated water into rivers in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Thames Water sewage plant Credit: ITV Meridian

The company allowed more than a billion litres of untreated effluent to enter the waterway in 2013 and 2014.

The judge described it as a disgraceful level of Pollution after people and animals became ill and thousands of fish died.

Judge Francis Sheridan handed down a fine of £20,361,140 - a record for a water utility for an environmental disaster - at a sentencing hearing at Aylesbury Crown Court today.

Thames Water was fined £380 for polluting this stream in 2013 Credit: Environment Agency

Judge Sheridan handed down a fine which is ten times higher than the previous record penalty paid by Southern Water

This is a shocking and disgraceful state of affairs. It should not be cheaper to offend than to take appropriate precautions.

– Judge Sheridan

The company admitted 13 breaches of environmental laws over discharges from sewage treatment works in Aylesbury, Didcot, Henley and Little Marlow, and a pumping station at Littlemore.

Thames Water fined Credit: PA

Levels of ammonia described as being "devastating to life" were detected during tests on the river at a Thames Water site at Henley-on-Thames before 50 dead fish were spotted floating on the surface of the river.

At a hearing last week, the judge said he had to ensure the fine was"sufficiently large that they (Thames) get the message"

Thames's previous record fine for pollution was £1 million, paid in January 2016.

The sentencing followed a ruling in March 2016 that big commercial. organisations which cause environmental pollution can be ordered to pay fines running into tens of millions of pounds.

More top news