Anglers welcome record fine for water company for pollution of the River Thames and tributaries with 1.5 billion litres of sewage

The Angling Trust & Fish Legal welcome the fact that Thames Water has been fined £20 million for pumping nearly 1.5 billion litres of untreated sewage in to the River Thames and its tributaries in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire in 2013 and 2014. 

This very substantial fine reflects the apparent collusion by management in Thames Water to save money by running pumps at half capacity at the expense of the natural environment, which will have an impact on wildlife and recreation activities, including angling, for many years to come. This pollution should never have happened and we note that Judge Francis Sheridan called it a “shocking and disgraceful state of affairs”.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust & Fish Legal said: “Our organisations made representations to the Sentencing Council in recent years calling for higher fines for companies with deep pockets who cause serious pollution incidents and so we are pleased to see an appropriate penalty in this case.

“We note that Thames Water has taken a proactive approach to compensating affected parties and added £1.5 million to its community fund to make good some of the damage caused, but Fish Legal will be investigating the potential for a civil claim for compensation and remediation costs on behalf of all our member angling clubs whose property rights have been directly damaged by the decisions taken by the water company.”