Scottish Water have been hit with a small fine after the utility company was found responsible for killing more than one thousand fish. It was handed down the fine after some chlorinated water leaked from one of the company’s reservoirs. It resulted in polluting the water and killing a great many of the fish that were residing there.
The company plead guilty in a hearing regarding the incident. It occurred at the Alva Burn waterway in central Lowlands in southern Scotland. It happened while staff were carrying out repair work between August and September of last year.
At first, it was not known that any loss of life had been caused. However, environmental officers were alerted to the presence of a great many dead fish by members of the public.
The fine was handed to Scottish Water on Monday July 28th 2014 by the Alloa Sheriff Court and totaled £6500. The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency said it could take several years for the number of fish in this reservoir in central Lowlands to reach the numbers prior to the killing.
An investigating officer for the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency said that Scottish Water could easily have prevented the incident for occurring by having the right materials on hand. Callum Waddell said:
This pollution could have been avoided if sodium thiosulphate had been on site, with appropriate apparatus to treat the water before it was discharged.
Mr. Waddell continued:
Scottish Water staff ought to know what to do in situations like this, otherwise valuable time can be lost. In this case there was an ongoing discharge for three days, which resulted in the death of over 1,000 fish and the local community couldn’t use the area downstream of the discharge for a variety of recreational activities, including fishing, swimming, paddling and walking.
Scottish Water cannot say that they were not prepared for such an incident to occur. In January this year, it was fined £10,000 for pollution at two separate water treatment plants after sulfuric acid and waste accidentally leaked. These accidents took place at Clackmannanshire and St. Serfs.
A spokesperson for Scottish Water has promised that the utility provider is on top of the problem. They said:
Scottish Water takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously. We have repaired a faulty valve at the reservoir to reduce the risk of this happening again.