A seafood company admitted polluting sewers and drains and was ordered to pay a total of £26,222.78p in fines and costs by magistrates at Consett (23 April).
Cumbrian Seafoods, of Admiralty Way, Fox Cover Industrial Estate, Seaham admitted three charges and asked for another eight offences to be taken into consideration.
They admitted discharging trade effluent into the sewerage network above the consent limit set by Northumbrian Water and also allowing effluent to escape into the surface water drains between October 2008 and March 2009.
Magistrates fined them the maximum £5,000 on one charge and £2,500 each for the other two charges.
Solicitor Paul Kelly, prosecuting for Northumbrian Water, told the court that oily materials in the effluent had a serious impact when it reached the sewage treatment works at Seaham threatening the treatment process and which required an extensive clean-up operation.
Cumbrian Seafoods were also ordered to pay costs for the subsequent investigation and clean up totalling £16,222.78.
The seafood production company told the court that the problem arose after they moved operations from Maryport in Cumbria to Seaham and the battering process at the plant was a contributing factor when their own pre-treatment waste facility failed to operate effectively.
Paul Kelly told magistrates that, in addition to exceeding the consent level for trade effluent into the sewer network, effluent with similar characteristics to raw sewage also escaped into the surface water drains which discharge direct to Seaham beach without any additional treatment.
For further information contact Alistair Baker, Communications and PR Manager, on 0191-301-6851 or 07711-793-493.