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8 March 2013, 15:33
Anglian Water have been fined £20,000 for letting sewage spill into a Norfolk beauty spot.
After they pleaded guilty at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court today Anglian Water was fined £20,000 and full costs of £2,896.53 were awarded.
On 7 February 2012, the owner of the Filby Bridge Restaurant made three phone calls to Anglian Water saying their neighbouring Filby Pumping Station, on Main Road, Great Yarmouth, was flooding.
The same station overflowed five times between September 2006 and March 2011.
The first call was made at 2.30pm, but technicians did not arrive until shortly after 5.30pm. By then, the restaurant’s car park was flooded and sewage was also being discharged to the Ormesby Little Broad, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The pump’s wet well had been cleaned by an Anglian Water contractor on the morning of the spill.
The problem was caused by a mechanical failure of the pumps and control systems due to damage to the wet well high level float switch.
After the hearing, Environment Agency Senior Environment Officer Rachael Storr said: “Toxic levels of ammonia and high biological oxygen demand entered a sensitive environment, and there was also potential for harm to the public.
“There is a history of this pumping station overflowing. As a result of previous overflows, Anglian Water was fully aware of the risk that an overflow from this pumping station could cause a polluting discharge to the Ormesby Little Broad.
“However, they failed to take appropriate measures to prevent a recurrence.”