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Thames Water fined £3.3m over river sewage

By illuminem briefings 🌎

Jul 05 2023 · 1 min read

Illuminem Voices
Nature · Environmental Law · Pollution

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🗞️ Driving the news: This week Thames Water, a major water company in the UK, has been fined £3.3 million after discharging millions of liters of undiluted sewage into two rivers, causing the death of over 1,400 fish

🔭 The context: In October 2017, a significant and prolonged release of sewage occurred from Thames Water's treatment works near Gatwick Airport, flowing into the Gatwick Stream in Sussex and the River Mole in Surrey
• Thames Water was now admitted to four charges in a prosecution by the Environment Agency

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: Thames Water has had 20 previous fines for pollution spillage posing a severe threat to aquatic ecosystems and marine life
• The incident highlights the need for responsible management of wastewater and adherence to environmental regulations

⏭️ What's next: Thames Water faces concerns about its future due to mounting debt and the environmental impact of its actions
• The company's chief executive, Sarah Bentley, stepped down after two years in the role, weeks after giving up her bonus over sewage spills

💬 One quote: “Thames Water initially failed to inform the agency about the sewage works alarm and later attempted to mislead the investigations” (Jamie Lloyd, Environment Agency senior officer)

📈 One Stat: The record fine against a water company for illegal discharge of sewage is held by Southern Water at £90m

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