Southern Water has been fined £24,000 and agreed to pay costs of £33,218 after an Environment Agency investigation found that the company failed to meet the conditions set out in its environmental permit for Tunbridge Wells North waste water treatment works.
Southern Water has an environmental permit to discharge treated effluent from the Tunbridge Wells North works to the Somerhill Stream. The conditions of the environmental permit are set by the Environment Agency to support a healthy river for wildlife and recreation, and the investigation found that the permit conditions were exceeded between July 2013 and July 2014.
Southern Water pleaded guilty to the charges under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010.
In mitigation, Southern Water stated that they had already spent £360,000 on improvement to the treatment works and a further £6 million was planned for the future.
David Willis, Environment Manager at the Environment Agency, said:
We take these incidents very seriously and do everything within our powers to safeguard the environment and people that may be affected.
We expect companies to take all necessary actions to comply with the conditions set out in environmental permits and welcome Southern Water’s commitment to spend a further £6m on planned improvement works.