PD Hook (Hatcheries) has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of almost £3,750 after pleading guilty to causing a discharge of polluted water into a watercourse.
The firm has a lagoon designed to collect water at its Station Road site, Gunness, Scunthorpe, and holds a permit to discharge clean water from this lagoon to a ditch at the rear of the site. The Environment Agency (EA) said this ditch forms part of a body of water called the Burringham Reservoir Drain.
On 22 November 2011, EA officers inspected the ditch and found dirty grey water and sewage fungus, and tests revealed high levels of ammonia.
Officers found that the water had flowed from the lagoon on the PD Hook premises, which had in turn been polluted by a leaking skip used to store egg and chicken remains.
- On or before 23 November 2011, at Station Road, Gunness, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, PD Hook (Hatcheries) Ltd did cause a water discharge activity, namely a discharge of polluted water containing egg and chicken waste and chemicals, except under and to the extent authorised by an Environmental Permit contrary to Regulation 38(1)(a) and Regulation 12(1)(b) Environmental Permitting (England & Wales) Regulations 2010.
The company was also found to be washing vehicles with detergents on top of surface water drains, which can lead directly into waterways, and officers said “large amounts” of chemicals were being stored on site without the required safety measures, such as bunds and drainage maps.
On 21 February 2012 a PD Hook (Hatcheries) representative was interviewed under caution and accepted that there were poor on-site practices, but improvements had been made to the water lagoon and vehicles were now washed in a different location.
The EA said in a statement: “Our environment is a precious heritage and everyone should be aware of the need to preserve rivers and waterways from pollution. We will not hesitate to prosecute in cases where this is disregarded.”