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  • by Karma Loveday

United Utilities fined £800,000 for 2018 illegal abstraction

The Environment Agency’s renewed focus on tough enforcement was apparent last week in a case against United Utilities for illegal over abstraction that resulted in a £800,000 fine.


The company was fined at Warrington Magistrates Court for taking a total of 22bn litres more than permitted from five of its abstraction licences in the Franklaw and Broughton Borehole Complex in Lancashire in 2018.

The Agency said the over abstraction caused additional stress on the environment during a period of very dry weather and led to a significant decline in the water level available in the Fylde Aquifer, which will now take years to recover.


Environment Agency area director for Lancashire, Carol Holt, said: “Our actions as regulator have led to today’s sentencing and we will continue to strive for a better water sector across the country to protect our precious water supplies now, and for the future. We are transforming our approach to regulation, holding the water industry to account and working with water companies such as United Utilities Water Limited to help them improve.”

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