DAIRY cream which spilled into a stream led to pollution 10 times stronger than raw sewage, magistrates heard.
About 400 litres of cream spilled from a dairy into a watercourse, leaving oxygen levels in the Brighouse stream dangerously low.
Richard Harrison, of Smith House Lane, Brighouse, admitted causing poisonous, noxious or polluting matter to enter Hoyle House Beck and Clifton Beck. Calderdale magistrates in Halifax fined him £2,500 with £153 costs.
The court heard yesterday that on November 7 the Environment Agency was told Clifton Beck had turned white.
Officials traced the source back to Hoyle House Beck, and from there to Harrison's dairy off Smith House Lane.
Samples were taken upstream and downstream of the spill.
Pollution greater than 17 milligrams per litre is described as grossly polluted. Water upstream was analysed at 1.5mg/litre. Downstream it was 3,180mg/litre, about 10 times stronger than raw sewage.
In a letter to the agency, the dairy said the cream delivery would have normally been unloaded immediately, but a piece of equipment had broken.
As the tank of cream was being unloaded, it became unstable, fell and burst open. The contents flowed into a drain leading into Hoyle House Beck.
Harrison said it was a one-off accident and there was no intention to put cream in the beck.