Statement following Thames Water fine for pollution near Gatwick

Press release issued on the 4th of July 2023 by The Rivers Trust and South East Rivers Trust.

Matthew Woodard


Joint statement from The Rivers Trust and South East Rivers Trust

There is no excuse for Thames Water or any other Water Company to allow this kind of polluting activity on our rivers. This spill decimated the local fish population, devastating local angling clubs and communities who love the river.

The Rivers Trust and South East Rivers Trust welcomes the use of a punitive fine handed out through the courts, which recognises the seriousness of Thames Water’s failings in this case and their efforts to mislead the regulator. We welcome Thames Water’s unreserved apology and look forward to seeing the harm caused repaired through this fine and the £1m ‘voluntary reparation’ that Thames Water has given to South East Rivers Trust. We all need to work together to restore our precious rivers to good health.

Bella Davies, Chief Executive of South East Rivers Trust, said: “There is no excuse for polluting rivers, which are the lifeblood of our landscapes. This incident decimated fish populations on the Gatwick Stream and impacted the ecology of the river far beyond into the catchment of the River Mole. Six years after this pollution incident the river and local angling club are still suffering.

We welcome the Thames Water fine while hoping it would have been higher. We are furious to hear the Judge’s conclusion that Thames Water attempted to mislead the regulator.

Thames Water have asked to work with us to help repair the damage by providing £1m to help improve the river’s habitat and water quality that is so important to the local community.”

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