Yorkshire Water pays £200,000 following sewage pollution in Doncaster
Yorkshire Water has agreed to pay The Environment Agency £200,000 after the company admitted causing sewage to enter the Pissy Beds Drain at Hatfield Colliery in Doncaster.
The Environment Agency was made aware of a burst at a main surface water sewer on September 22, 2015, but further investigations showed that a transfer of foul sewage between pumping stations led to raw sewage entering the Pissy Beds Drain. The Pissy Beds drain flows to Brierholme Carr Drain, then to South Soak Drain which leads to the River Trent.
Elevated ammonia and low dissolved oxygen levels were detected due to sewage entering the watercourse. This had the potential to harm fish and the invertebrate life. Once made aware of the incident, The Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water Services’ response meant that the pollution was contained while the burst was located, stopped and fixed, preventing further environmental harm.
Yorkshire Water Services cleaned the watercourse and have repaired the rising main that burst at a cost of £235,000. The company also paid the Environment Agency’s costs in full. The company have also carried out an end-to-end review of their telemetry system to ensure that early warnings are received and acted on, additional alarms have been put in place. Staff have been briefed on the learning from the incident.
The Enforcement Undertaking offers were officially accepted by the Environment Agency in late February 2019 and payments to the charity have already been made. The donation of £200,000 to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust will be used to fund Humberhead Levels Nature Improvement Area.
Louise Cresswell, the East Midlands area director at the Environment Agency, said: “Enforcement Undertakings allow polluters restore the harm caused to the environment and prevent repeat incidents.
“They offer a quick resolution and help offenders who are prepared to take responsibility for their actions to voluntarily make things right. We will continue to seek prosecutions against those who cause severe pollution or who act recklessly.”
Any environmental issues can be reported to the Environment Agency’s 24 hour Incident Hotline on 0800 807060.