A Lincolnshire food firm will pay out £50,000 after its plant that slaughters and process chicken leaked around 26,000 litres of untreated water into a nearby stream.
An unknown quantity of the untreated water from Noble Food Co’s plant on Corringham Road in Gainsborough entered the stream in July this year.
The discharge happened as a result of a series of faults within the company’s treatment plant.
The Environment Agency launched an investigation and deemed enforcement was needed.
Noble Food Co will donate £50,000 to the Lincolnshire Rivers Trust to fund environmental improvements to several local watercourses including the Brayford Pool in Lincoln.
In addition, Noble Foods also spent £40,000 on its own measures to clean up the stream and prevent a repeat pollution. The work includes installing alarms and equipment to stop waste water entering the stream.
Workers on site blocked a drain in an attempt to contain the spill, but the untreated waste water flooded the area. It eventually reached a surface water drain and entered the stream.
Although they tried to minimise the damage, staff didn’t follow emergency procedures correctly, meaning their efforts were unsuccessful.
Samples taken by Environment Agency officers found a toxic level of ammonia in the water — more than 80 times the natural level.
Michael Waugh, Regulatory Officer at the Environment Agency, said: “We always aim to get the best result for people and nature, and enforcement undertakings mean those responsible for pollutions have the chance to take responsibility for their actions and put things right in a way that directly benefits the environment.
“In this case, the extra cash will go to making real improvements to several local watercourses including the Brayford Pool, which will be a boon for wildlife, locals and visitors alike.”
Nicola Craven, Project Manager at Lincolnshire Rivers Trust said: “The funds received from this enforcement undertaking will provide valuable financial support to enable river improvement projects in and around Lincoln.
“Our planned work around the Brayford Pool and Fossdyke will help improve a range of habitats adding value for both people and wildlife.”
Noble Foods did not reply by the time of publication.