A MARSDEN construction company has been fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £795 court costs after polluting a tributary of the River Colne.
SB Homes Ltd, of Brougham Road, admitted causing construction run-off containing high concentrations of suspended solids to enter Wessenden Brook.
The offence was on or before April 16 this year and contrary to the Water Resources Act 1991.
The company was sentenced at Huddersfield Magistrates' Court in a case brought by the Environment Agency.
Magistrates heard how officers were called out on April 16 to find muddy brown water in Wessenden Brook which was coming from a pipe below the road bridge at Weirside in Marsden.
The pollution stretched for an estimated 120 metres along Wessenden Brook until it joined up with the River Colne.
Officers traced the muddy water to a large residential building development run by SB Homes Ltd, off Carr Road, Marsden, where they found the water seeping into drains.
The court heard the Environment Agency had already spoken to the firm on several occasions about contamination from the site flowing into water courses.
In its defence, the company maintained that it took the matters seriously and had placed bunding along the road to prevent contaminated water running off.
The Agency's environment officer Dave Preston said:
"In this case, SB Homes had a difficult site to work on because the land was on a slope, but this demonstrates how companies should have good working practices in place early on to prevent problems from occurring.
"The Environment Agency takes these matters extremely seriously and will prosecute any offenders."
Steve Byram, managing director of the firm, said: "This was a one-off. We had acquired a terrible site, with broken drains all across it, and have substantially improved it. There was a terrible storm and that caused all the problems".