Wrenthorpe Colliery pollutes Balne Beck again

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer
Wednesday 25 January 1922

RIVER POLLUTION FROM COALWASHING PLANT: £150 FINES

Before his Honour Judge Randolph, at the Wakefield County Court yesterday, Mr H F Atter, on behalf the West Riding Rivers Board, applied under the Rivers Pollution Prevention Act, 1876, for an order directing payment by the Low Laithes Colliery Company (Limited), Wakefield, of penalties for default in complying with an order dated November 4, 1913, requiring the colliery company to abstain from allowing the flow of polluted water from the coal-washing plant at the Wrenthorpe Pit.

Mr Atter stated that on March 17, 1914, an application was made for penalties for breach of the order of 1913, and an order was made for the payment of £50 per day for offences on two days, but execution was stayed until proof should be given of further pollution.

Mr James P Hutchinson, an inspector of the Rivers Board, said that on several occasions in the past three months he had found the effluent at the Wrenthorpe Pit unsatisfactory, chiefly owing to neglect of the settling tanks and the non-working of the pump. Cross-examined by Mr R Watson (for the colliery company), witness admitted the pollution was not offensive. It consisted of small particles of coal deposited as black sludge in the course of stream, which flowed into the Balne Beck.

Mr Watson said they did not dispute the fact that there had been pollution, but they had done their best under difficulties, and the company had now entered into contracts at a sum of considerably more than £10,000 with a view of making their coal-washing plant ahead of anything of its kind in the country.

His Lordship ordered payment of penalties of £25 in each of six cases and costs.

Anti-pollution fines over 100 years ago

Leeds Mercury
Wednesday 18 March 1914

POLLUTING BALNE BECK
RIVERS BOARD ACTION AGAINST WRENTHORPE COLLIERY

At the Wakefield County Court yesterday, before his Honour Judge Greenhow, the West Riding Rivers Board brought an action against the Low Laithes Colliery Company Limited to recover penalties for alleged breach of an order made upon them on November 4th last to abstain from turning polluting effluent from their Wrenthorpe Colliery at Wakefield into the Balne Beck.

Evidence was given that on several subsequent occasions black and turbid liquid had been seen flowing from the colliery into the beck, the result of an overflow from settling tanks at the coal washer.

One the witnesses, farmer, through whose land the stream from the colliery runs, stated that the stream water was not fit for his horses to drink, and he had, therefore, to keep a tub the land full of town’s water.

For the respondents, Mr Blakley, of Dewsbury, stated that since the order two settling tanks had been constructed and four others were in course of construction. Some of the pollutions seen by the Rivers Board’s inspectors, he suggested, were the result of accident.

His Honour imposed a penalty of £100 (£50 each in respect of two days), but ordered that this should not be enforced if no further pollution occurs after the completion of the plant six weeks hence. He granted costs against the respondents.