Thames Water, the largest water supplier in Britain, has been fined GBP3.3m (USD4.2mn) by a UK court after admitting to polluting rivers in 2017, reported by Reuters on July 4. In recent years, the heavily indebted company has faced multiple sanctions for failing to meet targets and causing pollution. The fine is related to an incident at Thames Water’s site in West Sussex, where a storm pump was mistakenly operated, leading to pollution. The company’s interim co-CEO, Cathryn Ross, expressed deep apologies for the incident and acknowledged significant errors and poor judgment at the time. Due to its financial struggles, the British government has considered temporarily taking ownership of the company if it fails to secure additional funds for its recovery. Thames Water has implemented improved staff training and upgraded control systems at the site to enhance its response to pollution incidents.
Thames Water’s repeated pollution incidents and failure to meet targets have had a significant environmental impact, leading to the deterioration of rivers and ecosystems. In 2017, the company’s discharge of sewage into the River Thames resulted in the loss of wildlife and widespread illness. This incident alone resulted in a record-breaking GBP20m fine.