Severn Trent fined for water contamination

Residents were left without tap water for three days.

Residents were left without tap water for three days.

First published in News

SEVERN Trent Water has been fined more than £92,000 after admitting to supplying contaminated water to homes in Broadway.

The water company apologised to all the homes when they appeared in court on Tuesday.

The case goes back to November 2012 when a supply of discoloured water was discovered in Broadway.

Despite initially assuring customers the water was safe to drink but investigations found bacteria in the water.

On Friday, November 23, they advised customers not to drink the water without boiling it first, and provided bottled supplies. Supplies were restored to normal on December 3.

The contamination was caused after pipework fractured and had been permitting surface water run off from the surrounding area, including slurry from a nearby cattle holding area.

No one reported to have been ill as a result of the contamination.

In total the company was fined £6,000 on each of eleven counts, paid £25,950 costs and a £120 victim surcharge.

Professor Jeni Colbourne, chief inspector of drinking water, said: “The inspectorate brought this case because the company didn’t listen to consumers and put their health at risk as a consequence of systemic failings in its approach to safeguarding tap water quality.”

Broadway business man Nigel Robinson said he was surprised the company were fined.

"I felt Severn Trent handled it very well," he said. "I am surprised there's a court case even. They provided us with bottled water and we were given a discount on our bills."

A spokesman for Severn Trent said: "The event was caused by groundwater intermittently entering the clean water network via a failure in disused pipe.

“We’d like to say sorry once again to those customers who were affected and for the inconvenience caused.

"We take water quality incidents extremely seriously and based on what we have learnt from this event we have reprioritised our activity to identify and reduce the risk from abandoned assets across our network.”

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