Northamptonshire food supplier fined more than £200,000 after breaches relating to liquid waste in sewers
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A Northamptonshire food supplier has been fined more than £200,000 for breaches relating to discharging liquid waste in sewers.
Faccenda Foods Limited, which trades as Avara Foods, based in Buckingham Road Industrial Estate in Brackley, appeared at Wellingborough Magistrates Court on Tuesday (November 14) after pleading guilty to three offences under the Water Industry Act 1991.
Anglian Water says the company was breaching the conditions of its consent, by allowing trade effluent – liquid waste – which did not meet the required quality standards to enter the sewers and water recycling centre serving Brackley.
On 30 occasions between July 2021 and January 2023, Avara Foods discharged effluent which did not meet the consent conditions. As a result of these breaches, Anglian Water had to take action to prevent impact to the downstream environment, including tankering the effluent out of the network.
The firm was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £26,270 costs and a victim surcharge of £190. Anglian Water says this is the largest fine ever imposed in the region for trade effluent breaches.
Natasha Kenny, head of quality regulation and enforcement at Anglian Water said: “We will always work with traders to achieve compliance. Prosecution is a last resort – but the extended length of this particular consent breach, coupled with the risk of blockages, overflows and sewer flooding to residents of Brackley, meant we had no other choice.
“It is vital that business customers are compliant with consent conditions – we will work with traders to achieve compliance, but we will not hesitate to take legal action when necessary to protect the environment.”
Trade effluent consents are granted by Anglian Water and consent conditions specify the levels allowed for certain pollutants. These levels are set at a level to protect the public, the treatment process and to prevent environmental harm. Companies that hold consents are responsible for ensuring the discharge meets these levels at all times and take appropriate action when a problem arises.
Discharges like this which breach a consent can cause blockages and increase the risk of flooding to homes or the environment. It can also impact on the sewage treatment process.