Thames Water has been fined £3.3m after dumping millions of liters of untreated sewage into two rivers, killing more than 1,400 fish.
In the year The court heard that in October 2017, a “high and long” discharge of sewage from treatment works into the Gatwick Stream, near Gatwick Airport, into the River Mall in Sussex and Surrey.
Thames Water admitted four charges in an environmental agency lawsuit.
The sentence was handed down during sentencing at Lewes Crown Court.
An organization that serves 15 million households. As the debt increases, he faces the threat of the future.
Judge Christine Laing Casey said Thames Water had made a “deliberate attempt” to mislead the Environment Agency, omitting water readings and denying responsibility by reporting to the regulator.
The court heard how rainwater suddenly woke up and filled the storm for 21 hours despite no rainfall.
The court heard the pump pumped sewage into the river for an estimated six hours, but no warning was issued to alert workers of the spill.
When the alarm went off, the lead technician was waiting for a new mobile phone and could not be contacted, the court heard.
During the hearing, the court was told by Sailesh Mehta, prosecuting, that the spill was a “disaster waiting to happen”.
Lisa Roberts Casey, defending Thames Water, said there was a “faulty switch” in the storm pump which caused an incident that “could not have been reasonably foreseen”.
She said: “This should not have happened and Thames deeply regrets what happened.”
The judge found it “extremely unusual” for environmental disasters to occur as a result of such cases.
The company “should have made every effort to clean up the problem areas,” she said.
The Thames has received 20 fines for polluting water.
Sarah Bentley, CEO of the company He resigned last week After two years in the role, weeks after giving her a bonus on the leak.
Outside court, Jamie Lloyd, a senior official at the Environment Agency, told the BBC: “Firstly, when the sewer warning went off, they didn’t notify the Environment Agency. They told us exactly seven times that nothing happened in the sewer. It works.”
“When they took over, they asked us to remove the incident from our records and presented a formal examination. Yes, they seem to have tried to mislead our investigation.”
After the verdict, Richard Eiland, director of sustainability at Thames Water, said: “This incident happened six years ago. That was then, this is now.
“We have a new CEO who has spent three years designing a transformation plan that will allow us to navigate a more secure future for the company and the environment.”
A water company has been hit with a record £90m fine for illegal drainage.
That punishment followed Around 7,000 events in Hampshire, Kent and Sussex In a case filed by the Environment Agency in 2021.