Water firm dumped too much sewage in river

A water company has pleaded guilty to allowing too much sewage waste into the River Wye.

Welsh Water Ltd was fined £90,000 after the Environment Agency found sewage levels near Hereford exceeded the legal limit three times in one year in 2020 and 2021.

Environmental rules state the company must not discharge over the limit more than twice in a 12-month period.

At Worcester Crown Court, the company was also ordered to pay costs of £14,085.

On 8 August 2020 the levels from the Kingstone and Madely Sewage Treatment Works were recorded at 13 milligrams per litre and in May 2021 it was 74 milligrams per litre.

On 19 June 2021 levels were recorded at 41milligrams per litre despite the legal limit being seven milligrams per litre.

The court was told that it was extremely unusual to have this many breaches in a 12-month period.

A report concluded that this showed "either poor operational management, inadequate asset provision or a mixture of both".

Welsh Water said on the first two occasions they could not identify a "root cause" for the permit breaches. On the third occasion, the company said the breach had occurred during a "significant storm".

Adam Shipp, for the Environment Agency who led the investigation, said: "Incidents like this are preventable and are completely unacceptable.

"Water companies are aware that their activities have the potential for serious environmental impacts, and they know that we will take action when they cause pollution."

Follow BBC Hereford & Worcester on Facebook, X and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: newsonline.westmidlands@bbc.co.uk