Abattoir fined for polluting river

A Cumbrian abattoir has been fined £5,000 after waste water from a treatment plant polluted a river.

Black Brow Abattoir, Wigton, admitted allowing polluting matter to enter controlled waters, during a hearing before Carlisle magistrates.

Environment Agency prosecutor Jane Morgan said that wash water had seeped out of a hole in a containment wall and into a river near a nature reserve.

In mitigation, it was said that the treatment plant had not been built large enough to contain the waste water.

Ecology consultant Mike Matthews said: “The fundamental reason the wash water is spilling out is the plant is not coping with the amount of wash water that the site produces.”

District Judge Gerald Chalk added that the abattoir had been “let down by a contractor, who was to install a treatment plant for the effluent”.

But then he said that, as the offence was one of strict liability, any pollution from the plant was the responsibility of the abattoir.

The company was also ordered to pay £3,000 costs.

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