Southern fined for £24k with costs for environment permit breach

Southern Water has been fined £24,000 with costs of £33,218 after an Environment Agency investigation found the firm had failed to meet the conditions of the environmental permit for its waste water treatment works.

The agency found that Southern had breached the conditions of its permit to discharge treated effluent from its Tunbridge Wells North works to the Somerhill Stream. The breach occurred between July 2013 and July 2014.

Southern pleaded guilty to the charges under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010.

In mitigation, Southern stated that it had already spent £360,000 on improvement to the treatment works and a further £6 million was planned for the future. Environment manager at the Environment Agency, David Willis, welcomed the company's commitment to invest further in the treatment plant. "We expect companies to take all necessary actions to comply with the conditions set out in environmental permits," said Willis.