Huge fines for water firm after discharges

The Bishop of Portsmouth, the Right Rev Christopher Foster

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SOUTHERN Water has been fined £200,000 after pumping raw sewage into the sea, the Environment Agency has said.

The company – which hit the headlines two years ago after being fined almost £150,000 for polluting Langstone Harbour – pleaded guilty to discharges in the Kent area.

Canterbury Crown Court heard defective pumps at Margate pumping station in Kent led to several discharges of untreated sewage between January and June 2011.

Following sentencing, Andy Stamp, the EA’s environment officer, said: ‘We would rather work with companies to assist them to comply with their environmental permits and minimise the risk to the environment.

‘When, however, this does not happen there should be consequences.

‘We take these types of incidents very seriously and will do everything within our powers to safeguard the environment and people affected, and that includes bringing those who harm the environment to account for their actions.’