The former owner of a rug cleaning business has been ordered to pay almost £14,000 in fines and costs after illegally dumping waste liquid into ditches.
John Edmunds, of Dauntsey Road, Greater Somerford, near Chippenham, Wiltshire, pleaded guilty to five separate charges of disposing of waste liquid when appearing before Chippenham magistrates court on 26 June. He was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £3,925 in costs.
Mr Edmunds based his business, The Horse Laundry Ltd, at a small industrial unit near Chippenham. In July 2006, he was warned by his landlord that he could no longer dispose of waste liquid in the units small sewage treatment plant, as he was overloading it.
But the Environment Agency discovered that Mr Edmunds responded by taking the liquid away in tankers and dumping it in various ditches throughout the Seagry area of Wiltshire.
The Environment Agencys Clive Smith said Mr Edmunds had been spotted disposing of the waste.
Mr Edmunds tanker was seen with a short length of pipe coming from the back and discharging a liquid into various ditches, he explained.
Environment Agency spokesman Bridget Norris told H&H that the fine was sizeable.
She added: Mr Edmunds had been warned, but his response was simply to dump the waste in ditches. This should act as a warning to all businesses.
Mr Edmunds no longer owns The Horse Laundry Ltd. The current owner told H&H Mr Edmunds had not been involved with the business since selling up at the beginning of the year.
H&H attempted to contact Mr Edmunds, but he was unavailable for comment.
This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (12 July, ’07)