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Last Updated: Friday, 11 August 2006, 16:05 GMT 17:05 UK
Sewage discharge results in fine
Dingwall Sheriff Court
Scottish Water pleaded guilty at Dingwall Sheriff Court
Scottish Water has been fined 4,000 after a river in the Highlands was polluted with sewage.

It was accused of allowing partially treated sewage to enter the River Peffery from its Dingwall waste water treatment plant.

The incident took place in September 2005 and Scottish Water pleaded guilty at Dingwall Sheriff Court.

Scottish Water said it and its contractors had reviewed its procedures to ensure that it did not happen again.

The case was reported to the procurator fiscal by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).

Sepa said the incident came to its attention during an inspection at the plant.

Caravan park

The agency said the treatment works has a consent to discharge effluent, however, samples showed that the discharge levels exceeded the permitted conditions.

Keith Beaton, Sepa investigating officer, said: "This incident occurred during an upgrade of the works and resulted in a deterioration of the discharged sewage effluent.

"The waste water treatment works discharges into an area of the River Peffery which is used frequently by the public for recreational walking.

"It is also near a popular caravan park which may have been affected by the strong odour from the works."

Jason Rose, Scottish Water's Highlands and Islands spokesman, said: "We have reviewed the procedures that we and our contractors follow when carrying out complex maintenance and upgrade work at waste water treatment works to ensure that incidents such as this don't happen again."

He added that almost 1m had been spent on the Dingwall works upgrade.

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