Welsh Water is warning people they could face prosecution if they are caught fly-tipping at any of its sites.
The warning comes after the company successfully prosecuted an individual who illegally disposed of waste at the car park of one of its reservoirs in south Wales.
Ralph Bikram, who trades as Wolf & Vale from Barry, was found guilty of three offences under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 at Merthyr Magistrates’ Court earlier this month. The offences related to waste which Mr Bikram had been paid to collect from a property in Barry but which was subsequently dumped at Pontsticill Reservoir near Merthyr Tydfil.
“Fly-tipping also spoils the natural beauty of our sites, many of which are located in areas of outstanding beauty. We welcome around 350,000 visitors a year to our recreational and reservoir sites so the last thing they want to see there is dumped rubbish.”
Mr Bikram pleaded not guilty claiming that the waste had been stolen from the yard at his property and disposed of at Pontsticill to discredit him.
Mr Bikram was ordered to do a 12 month Community Order of 150 unpaid hours and to pay costs of £9,000.
Commenting on the successful prosecution, Welsh Water’s Managing Director of Water Services Ian Christie said: “I hope this case serves as a warning to anyone thinking that our sites are soft targets for fly-tipping. People should realise that our reservoirs are there for a reason – to collect water that will be used for drinking purposes – so to dispose of waste which risks pollution is irresponsible and something that won’t be tolerated.
“Fly-tipping also spoils the natural beauty of our sites, many of which are located in areas of outstanding beauty. We welcome around 350,000 visitors a year to our recreational and reservoir sites so the last thing they want to see there is dumped rubbish.
“We would urge anyone who sees rubbish being dumped at any of our sites to contact the police immediately.”
To help combat the issue of illegal fly-tipping, the company has recently teamed up with Fly-Tipping Action Wales to use an innovative app which helps identify fly-tipping hot spots. Since joining forces, 24 fly-tipping incidents have already been identified on Welsh Water land.
Mr Christie added: “The use of the app is really helping us better understand where our problem areas for fly-tipping are so we know where to focus our activity on tackling it. So the message to anyone thinking of using our land as a dumping ground is quite simple, don’t do it because we will catch you and take action.