Water company receives record £2m fine for polluting Kent beaches

December 21, 2016

Southern Water received a record fine of £2 million on 19th December, following a plea of guilty to a single count of causing or knowingly permitting an unauthorised water discharge activity in 2012.

Richard Banwell prosecuted the company on behalf of the Environment Agency at Maidstone Crown Court. The fine is the highest financial penalty imposed on a water company.

The case concerned the discharge of untreated sewage effluent onto the beaches of Thanet and the sea over the Bank Holiday weekend coinciding with the Jubilee celebrations. The company also accepted its guilt in respect of further discharges from the same pumping station at Margate and from a pumping station in Broadstairs in 2014. Those offences were taken into consideration by the Court.

The company was represented by Richard Matthews QC and Clifford Darton.

Please use the links below to access media coverage of the case:-

BBC News Report

BBC News Report

ENDS Report

The Guardian

Kent Online

ITV News