Revealed: UK water companies are polluting rivers and beaches
Sunday 04 August 2013
Water companies are the most persistent polluters of England's rivers and beaches, with “pitiful” fines failing to curb their behaviour, it has been revealed.
An investigation carried out by The Observer newspaper has discovered that the utilities firms have been sanctioned for over 1,000 incidents of pollution in the past nine years, but only fined a total of £3.5m.
Such frequent offending has raised concerns that financial penalties levelled by officials are too low.The Sentencing Council for England and Wales agrees and is proposing large increases in penalties.
The companies that received the biggest fines were Thames Water, United Utilities Water and Anglia Water respectively.
The rate of such incidents of pollution, including the pouring of sewage into a harbour for more than a year and senior managers destroying the evidence, is not going down, according to figures obtained from the Environment Agency by the paper using freedom of information legislation.
Two thirds of the 1,000 incidents recorded resulted only in cautions, while the rest of the offences resulted in a fine averaging only £10,800.
Speaking to the paper, Joan Walley MP, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee said, “The sentencing council must ensure that courts take into account the profits made from environmental crimes, and that fines have a sufficient deterrent effect.”
A spokesman for Water UK, a group which represents the water utilities industry, said: “We never want to see incidents of pollution. Water companies invest billions of pounds each year to safeguard the natural environment while providing people with high-quality water to drink and healthy rivers, beaches and bathing waters to enjoy. While it's widely accepted that there is still room for improvement, there is clear evidence of progress in many areas.”
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 3 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 4 African jawbone discovery pushes birth of humanity back by 400,000 years
- 5 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Out-of-touch MPs ‘don’t get it’, says ex-Civil Service chief
George Clooney and Amal fail to get special treatment at New York restaurant
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
African jawbone discovery pushes birth of humanity back by 400,000 years
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small but very busy (and f...
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has become known a...
£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of refrig...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales / Account Manager is re...