Anglian Water to donate £60,000 after polluting Essex brook

Aerial view of Abberton Reservoir which the brook flows in to.

Aerial view of Abberton Reservoir which the brook flows in to. - Credit: Archant

Anglian Water has agreed to donate £60,000 to local wildlife trusts after the company polluted the Layer Brook in Essex.

The Layer Brook and its tributary in Tiptree flow into Abberton Reservoir.

High levels of the compound ammonia were found in the watercourses for 4km, 200m upstream of the Abberton Reservoir.

Five dead fish were also found during a survey.

The pollution took place in 2013 with an Enforcement Undertaking (EU), being completed in August this year.


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Peter Kellett, Environment Agency Director said: “Enforcement undertakings allow those who commit offences to restore the environment and to take steps to prevent a recurrence.

“When appropriate, they allow a quicker resolution than a prosecution and help offenders who are prepared to take responsibility for their actions to put things right voluntarily working with their local communities”.

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The pollution originated from the Tiptree Water Recycling Centre when sewage filled up storm tanks and overflowed without being treated.

At the time, one of the two pumps which sent incoming sewage for treatment had been removed for repair.

The second pump tripped three times over two nights.

Workers were not alerted to the problems because of a faulty alarm which has since been replaced.

To add to problems storm tanks at the facility were not empty due to a blockage.

Later water surveys conducted by Anglian Water confirmed that there would be no long term impact from the pollution.

The money donated by Anglian Water as a result of the EU will now be split equally between Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust and Essex Wildlife Trust.

Anglian Water has also paid the Environment Agency’s costs.

The Environment Agency’s East Anglia Enforcement Team Leader Lesley Robertson said; “Enforcement Undertakings encourage operators to make amends and in this case I am heartened to see £60,000 has been donated to the Trusts, allowing them to carry out a variety of local projects benefitting the wider community.”

Anglian water has since taken steps to prevent the problems happening in the future.

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