December 15, 2010 at 11:15 am
Dŵr Cymru, the Welsh water company, has been severely criticised by the Environment Agency after it emerged that they allowed untreated sewage to seep into Llyn Padarn lake in Llanberis, Gwynedd via the Afon Goch back in April of this year.
With the lake eventually flowing towards the sea mouth at Caernarfon, it’s not hard to see why this case is such a serious one for the water industry, but Dŵr Cymru seem to have escaped from the unfortunate incident relatively lightly, with the company handed a six month conditional discharge and a fine of just £3,800.
It is thought that the water firm were not treated as harshly as may have been the case as they pleaded guilty and the eventual consequences of the sewage leak were relatively minor; an investigation found that nothing died as a result of the lake pollution and the impact on users was minimal, since they were kept fully informed of the incident and the potential health risks resulting from it.
This case, although resolved through the final decision of the magistrate, is likely to continue to cause a fair amount of controversy in the months to come, with local angling associations still angry about the manner in which Dŵr Cymru apparently allowed the sewerage system in question to become so damaged and affected by time and general wear and tear that it ended up breaking.
One thing is for sure, though, and that’s the fact that the water firm is likely to be monitored closely over the coming months as the Environment Agency seek to gain both confirmation and reassurance that important lessons have been learned.