£5,000 fine for pollution of city river

A WATER company which ignored warnings that a pump had failed allowing raw sewage to flow into a Sheffield river has been fined £5,000.

Yorkshire Water was fined and ordered to pay 2,148 costs after the sewage polluted the Shire Brook, to the south east of the city.

Trevor Cooper, prosecuting for the Environment Agency at Sheffield Magistrates' Court, said sewage had flowed from Linley Bank Sewage Pumping Station in Hackenthorpe - affecting the brook for 800 metres through Beighton Marsh Nature Reserve to the River Rother on March 30 and 31 2006.

One of the station's two pumps had been out of order since March 27, and on March 30 at 4.52am the second pump also failed. It was reset but failed again and Yorkshire Water services did not respond to the alarm at 5.56am and three other warnings later that day.

The company did not check on the site until it was called there by the Environment Agency the following day..

Yorkshire Water pleaded guilty to one charge of causing polluting matter to enter controlled waters, and asked for a charge of failing to maintain a standby pump in working order to be taken into consideration.

Environment officer Ian Harrison, said: "Yorkshire Water could have avoided polluting the watercourse if it had responded promptly to its alarms and the impact would have been reduced if the company had acted on Environment Agency advice."