Sheffield firm fined after waste leaked into river

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A Sheffield-based wood treatment manufacturer has been fined £12,000 for allowing polluting a river.

Ronseal, based at Thorncliffe Park, Chapeltown, was sentenced after the company admitted a charge of causing polluting matter to enter inland freshwaters.

The company was prosecuted by the Environment Agency at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court, after pollution was spotted in Blackburn Brook, which runs from High Green to Meadowhall, back in November 2011.

Polluted effluent is usually treated on site before being discharged into a foul sewer which leads to a water treatment plant.

But at the time of the offence, Ronseal believes that the site’s trade effluent drains were blocked and the polluted effluent leaked into the surface water drainage system.

Investigating officers found that a two-kilometre stretch of Blackburn Brook had been affected and was discoloured.

John Turley, Environment Officer of the Environment Agency, said: “Chemical industries such as that operated by Ronseal frequently deal with substances which can potentially have a damaging impact on the environment.

“That’s why it is essential that these industries ensure that their effluent and waste handling processes are working properly at all times.”

Ronseal told the court the firm had spent £60,000 on improving its drainage system to prevent a repeat incident.

It was ordered to pay costs of £3,920.98.