Grease, oil and other waste was illegally and repeatedly discharged into the sewers and landed a food company in court.
2 Sisters Food Group Ltd was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay an additional £1,050 costs by magistrates in Sunderland. (Thursday 19 July)
The company admitted breaching its consent to discharge into the public sewer on eight occasions between 21 March and 1 December, 2011.
Solicitor Paul Kelly, prosecuting on behalf of Northumbrian Water, told the court that the food group on the Leechmere Industrial Estate in Sunderland had consistently failed to meet its trade effluent consent limits since 2009.
After repeatedly warning and trying to work with the food company to stop the foul discharges Northumbrian Water was eventually left with no option but to take the company to court, added Paul Kelly.
He said: “The discharge of trade effluent containing high levels of suspended solids and oil and grease is likely to lead to the deposition of material on sewer walls with the potential to cause blockages and flooding.
“Manhole inspections and CCTV surveys revealed evidence of contamination in the sewer into which the company’s effluent was discharged.”
Illegal discharges also cause a drop in dissolved oxygen levels killing bacteria at the sewage works affecting treatment, added Paul Kelly.
• Northumbrian Water is responsible for 33,000km of sewers throughout the North East and is investing more than £100million on maintenance and improvements to the network from 2010 – 2015.
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