Welsh Water fined after chemical spillage kills fish

The operator of a water treatment plant has been fined £40,000 after a chemical spillage killed more than 500 fish.

It happened at Welsh Water’s Felindre water treatment works just outside Swansea in July last year.

Lime Slurry affected water

The pollution happened after lime slurry which was being transferred spilled into a surface water drain which led to the River Lliw.

Welsh Water admitted causing the pollution at a previous hearing in Swansea Magistrates’ Court.

An inspection of the river by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) found dead fish including trout, lamprey, bullheads, as well as 200 freshwater shrimps, mayflies and caddis flies.

About three quarters of a mile (1.2 km) of the river was affected.

Fish populations in the river are expected to take three to four years to recover.

Chris Palmer, from NRW, said: “Despite efforts by Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water to contain the spill, a significant amount of pollution entered the river and had a devastating impact on fish and other wildlife.”

The company was also ordered to pay costs of £8,980.99 and a victim surcharge of £170.

They pleaded guilty to two charges, one contrary to the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016, the other contrary to the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

Welsh Water said: “As a company which takes its commitment to protecting the natural environment very seriously, we are of course extremely sorry for this event and its impact.

“We fully investigated the cause and while it involved human error – the event happened while we were coping with increased customer demand for water during record hot temperatures – we identified that there were lessons to be learned.”

Source:  BBC News 20th August 2019