By Carl Jackson Tuesday 09 October 2012 Updated: 10/10 13:58
SEVERN TRENT has been forced to pay more than £30,000 for polluting a Bromsgrove brook.
The water management company was fined £25,000, told to pay more than £5,000 in costs and was ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge at Redditch Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to discharging sewage without a permit.
The Environmental Agency, who brought the prosecution, received a report about a dark black liquid in the Elmbridge Brook in Fairfield in February last year.
Officers attended the site and discovered the nearby sewage system was blocked and contained untreated leachate - highly contaminated water which has passed through landfill wastes.
Severn Trent had given consent to the tip to discharge the substance but had failed itself to maintain the sewer which had been blocked by an eight foot long tree root that had grown through the side wall.
Further tests showed dead invertebrates 800 metres downstream, as well as high levels of a toxic substance harmful to aquatic life up to four kilometres away.
Severn Trent immediately sent out response crews to take samples and remove the tree from the sewer. The company also vowed to step up inspections in the area to every six months.
A spokesperson from the Environment Agency said: "We take cases of pollution to watercourses seriously, due to the environmental damage that can be caused.
"Severn Trent Water fell short of their responsibilities to maintain the sewer which led to the blockage, and so we did not hesitate to prosecute."
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