Cardiff cake maker fined more than £26K after polluting stream in popular park
A Cardiff cake maker has been fined after polluting a stream with waste in one of the capital city's most popular parks.
Memory Lane Cakes Ltd, which produces pre-packed cakes for companies such as Disney, Thorntons and Mary Berry, was ordered to pay a fine of £26,300 at Cardiff Magistrates' Court on January 14 after pleading guilty to prolonged pollution of the Wedal Brook in Heath Park.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW), prosecuting, said that officers were first made aware of the pollution in April 2019 by a member of the public who reported "sewage type smells" around the stream in the park.
Investigating officers found that wastewater from the bakery on Maes-y-Coed Road in Heath was entering the stream from a pipe connected to an industrial dishwasher at the site, which had wrongly been connected to the surface water sewer, rather than the foul sewer.
NRW said this had caused 800 litres of dirty wash-waters, including butter, sugar, flour and egg, to flow into the stream every day.
Officers also said they found 380 metres of the stream covered in sewage fungus, which had caused all of the invertebrates along the brook to die.
The cake making company has since fixed the connection, with all its wastewater now correctly entering the foul sewer and being sent to a treatment plant.
Cardiff Magistrates Court confirmed that the company was fined £23,000 for polluting the stream, and a further £3,300 for failing to provide information required by the waste regulation authority.
It must also pay NRW’s costs of £13,000 and a victim surcharge of £190.
Michael Evans, NRW's Head of Operations for South Wales Central said: “Misconnected waste pipes can end up polluting Wales’ rivers, damaging the environment and harming local wildlife.
“By not ensuring its waste pipes were connected correctly, the wastewater from the Memory Lane Cakes site polluted the Wedal Brook for a long time. This resulted in sewage fungus killing all life in the river for hundreds of metres downstream.
“We hope the outcome of this case clearly demonstrates that anyone polluting Wales’ rivers will be pursued through the courts if necessary and could face large fines due to their actions.
“We will continue our efforts to educate people and businesses about the impact misconnected pipes can have on the environment.”