Companies across England and Wales were fined and charged more than £100,000 by magistrates courts in April and May for pollution incidents which killed more than 5,500 fish. The prosecutions were brought by the Environment Agency.

Spread along waterways in Wales, the Manchester region, the Thames catchment and southern counties, the six most serious pollution prosecutions attracted £78,000 in fines and £28,456 in court costs. While the majority of fish killed were non-target species, up to one thousand were brown trout.

The pollution incidents included:

  • Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water was fined £10,000 after sewage leaked from a public sewer, contaminated a surface water discharge and then entered the Nant Mychydd watercourse at Llantrisant, Rhondda Cynon Taf. More than 800 fish were killed. Llwynypia Magistrates’ Court also ordered the company to pay full costs of £6,686.
  • Cable and Wireless Plc, based in Swindon, was ordered to pay more than £29,500 by Swindon Magistrates Court on 10 April after polluting a 14km stretch of Westlea Brook, the River Ray and the River Thames on 23 January 2005, with eight tonnes of red diesel. More than 2,000 fish died.
  • Lectros International Limited, a chemical company, was fined £10,000 (plus £4,354 costs) by Pennine Magistrates’ Court on 8 May for polluting the River Irwell and Langwood Brook with a mixture of fungicide and insecticide. Thousands of minor species and 47 brown trout died.
  • United Utilities Water Plc was prosecuted for the third time this year after admitting to polluting Rochdale’s River Beal with sewage on Saturday 30 July 2005, killing hundreds of brown trout. The company was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £4,673 costs by Rochdale Magistrates’ Court.
  • Southern Water Services Ltd was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay £2,000 costs by Lyndhurst Magistrates Court on Friday 12 May 2006, for a sewage leak that killed hundreds of fish in the Lymington River on Sunday 17 July 2005.
  • Southern Water Services Ltd was again prosecuted for causing raw sewage to pollute nearly 2km of Sunnyside Stream in East Grinstead on 5 September 2005. The company was fined £9,000 and ordered to pay £1,190 costs at Haywards Heath Magistrates Court. About 466 brown trout, 20 minnows, seven stoneloach and one stickleback died.