Sewage in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Pride of Derby and Derbyshire Angling Association Ltd and Earl of Harrington v British Celanese Ltd
    • Court of Appeal
    • 15 December 1952

    This liability for nuisance has been applied in the past to sewage and drainage cases in this way: When a local authority take over or construct a sewage and drainage system which is adequate at the time to dispose of the sewage and surface water for their district, but which subsequently becomes inadequate owing to increased building which they cannot control, and for which they have no responsibility, they are not guilty of the ensuing nuisance.They obviously do not create it, nor do they continue it merely by doing nothing to enlarge or improve the system.

  • Marcic v Thames Water Utilities Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 04 December 2003

    In my view the cause of action in nuisance asserted by Mr Marcic is inconsistent with the statutory scheme. Mr Marcic's claim is expressed in various ways but in practical terms it always comes down to this: Thames Water ought to build more sewers. This is the only way Thames Water can prevent sewer flooding of Mr Marcic's property. This is the only way because it is not suggested that Thames Water failed to operate its existing sewage system properly by not cleaning or maintaining it.

    The existence of a parallel common law right, whereby individual householders who suffer sewer flooding may themselves bring court proceedings when no enforcement order has been made, would set at nought the statutory scheme. It would effectively supplant the regulatory role the Director was intended to discharge when questions of sewer flooding arise.

  • Thames Water Authority v Blue and White Launderettes Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 20 December 1979

    "Upon trade premises one would expect there to be a source of effluent that is not related to the trading or industrial processes carried on there. The establishment will have its domestic side as well as its truly business side. The words 'wholly or in part produced in the course of any trade' are almost wide enough to include anything which comes from the premises used by people working there. 'In the course of is a phrase often considered by lawyers and has been shown to have a wide embrace.

  • Dwr Cymru Cyfyngedig (Welsh Water) (Appellant v Barratt Homes Ltd (Respondent
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 27 March 2013

    However, to my mind there is an important distinction between the present case and Lingke. For the moment, I set to one side the claims based on the blocking of the pipe and I limit my consideration to the claim based on the refusal to permit connection. In Lingke the alternative cause of action referred to was a free-standing cause of action in nuisance which was in no sense dependent on any provision of the statute.

  • British Waterways Board v Severn Trent Water Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 02 March 2001

    Whether or not that premise could have been supported in the context of a public authority charged with functions imposed in the interests of public health, it cannot be supported, as it seems to me, in the context of legislation enacted following a decision to privatise the water industry.

  • Legge (George) & Son Ltd v Wenlock Corporation
    • House of Lords
    • 22 December 1937

    My Lords, to prevent misconception I will add that no doubt there are circumstances in which the bed and banks of what was once a natural stream might prior to the Act of 1875 have become substantially nothing but a channel for sewage. The case of Falconar v. South Shields Corporation (shortly reported in II Times L.R. 223) can only be explained as a decision of the Court of Appeal in that sense and there are other authorities supporting the same proposition.

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Books & Journal Articles
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • Record fine under sentencing guidelines
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    Southern Water is the latest company to receive a heavy fine for environmental offences, following a pollution incident in Kent in June 2012 where large amounts of sewage were expelled onto the Tha...
    ... ... latest company to receive a heavy fine for environmental offences, following a pollution incident in Kent in June 2012 where large amounts of sewage were expelled onto the Thanet coastline after pumping station failures. The court heavily criticised Southern Water for complacency, particularly ... ...
  • Creating Financial Accountability For Regulatory Failings
    • Mondaq UK
    ... ... collective actions. Whether it be in relation to the water industry ... and the discharge of untreated sewage and wastewater into waterways ... or uncompetitive prices for residential landline services See ... Justin Le Patourel v BT Group PLC (case number ... ...
  • Thames Tideway Tunnel Gets Green Light
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ... ... Why does London need a 'super-sewer'? ... London's sewers were built in the 1860s by Sir Joseph Bazalgette to prevent raw sewage being flushed straight into the Thames (which at the time was thought to be responsible for a series of cholera outbreaks) at a cost of £4.2million ... ...
  • Storm Overflows And The New Legislative Pressures
    • Mondaq UK
    ... ... companies can take to do so ... Over recent weeks water companies have faced further scrutiny in ... the press after excess sewage and rainwater caused by flooding ... continued to be discharged into seas around Britain. This adds to a ... sustained period over which discharges ... ...
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