Thames Water has been fined £4 million after untreated sewage escaped from sewers below London into a park and a river. In New Malden
The court was told approximately 79 million litres of sludge escaped across an area of about 6,500 square metres. It took 30 people a day for almost a month to clean-up sludge that was ankle-deep in places.
As untreated sewage built up below ground, almost 50 warning alarms were set off over the next 5 hours. Every one was left unchecked.
It took Thames Water 15 hours to report the incident to the Environment Agency, a legal requirement, and another 12 hours – by now, the morning of 9 February – before the company had any sizeable presence at the scene.
This latest conviction brings the total amount of fines given to Thames Water since 2017 to £28.4 million for 10 cases of water pollution.
[case brought by environment agency]
Thames Water has now accrued £32.4m in fines since 2017 for 11 cases of water pollution
Thames Water Utilities Limited has been fined £4 million for discharging an estimated half a million litres of raw sewage into the Seacourt and Hinksey streams in Oxford on 24 and 25 July 2016
the water company had failed to adequately maintain this high risk section of sewer for at least 16 years.
The court was told how the water company failed to disclose highly relevant documents, including a maintenance manual, until the 11th hour and only after members of the public had brought one of them to the attention of the Environment Agency.
Thames Water dumped raw sewage into rivers 5,028 times in 2021
Thames Water dumped untreated effluent for more than 68,000 hours into the river systems around Oxford last year, campaigners have revealed, arguing that the sum of money the company plans to spend to improve the situation is woefully inadequate.