16 July 1998
Creamery fined over effluent discharge

By FWi staff

THE Co-operative Wholesale Society was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £2,508 costs at Ammanford Magistrates Court yesterday for excessive effluent discharge from its Llangadog Creamery last September.

The court was told the creamery had permission to discharge industrial effluent into the River Towy provided the total suspended solids within the discharge did not exceed 55 milligrammes per litre, and the Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) did not exceed 40mg/l.

On 11 September 1997, agency officers paid a routine visit to the creamery and took a discharge sample. The results showed that the total suspended solids reading was 100mg/l – almost twice the permitted limit – and the BOD 280mg/l which was seven times the consented limit.

The high BOD discharge later caused dissolved oxygen levels in the Towy downstream of the creamery to fall; this in turn led to the growth of sewage fungus and a filamentous algae which thrives in anaerobic conditions and shuts out light to the river bed.

The Co-op pleaded guilty to the charges.