Northumbrian Water has been fined almost £0.5 m following charges brought by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) after water with an unpleasant taste and odour was supplied from the water firm’s South Moor Service Reservoir in late 2016. Costs of about £33,000 were agreed out of court.
The offence under the Water Industry Act 1991 arose following maintenance work in December 2016 at the reservoir in Burnhope, Durham which serves 10,000 consumers in County Durham. According to the DWI epoxy coating material used in the reservoir was not left to cure long enough before restoring the reservoir to supply.
Northumbrian pleaded guilty to the supply of water unfit for human consumption and to an offence arising from not following the manufacturer’s instruction for use of a product. The DWI criticised Northumbrian’s lack of supervision of the work and for inadequate checks on water quality prior to returning the reservoir to service.