UTILITY giants Scottish Water has been slapped with a £19,000 fine after they pleaded guilty to an incident of water pollution in the River Clyde.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard that an estimated 650,000 m³ or more of untreated sewage was discharged into the River Clyde between May 16 and June 9, 2016.

A mechanical failure at the Kinning Park Waste Water Pumping Station caused a blockage that led to incoming sewage being diverted and discharged from three overflows along the south bank of the river between Glasgow Green and Springfield Quay.

READ MORE: Meet Wilma, 92, who has been getting her hair done at same Glasgow salon for 30 years

Members of the public who lived or worked at the river complained about the foul smell and the material which could be seen in the water.

Residents were unable to open their windows, sit outside or entertain friends and they even had to launder soft furnishings to remove the smell.

There, however, appears to have been no lasting significant environmental impact.

The company pled guilty to two charges under sections 20(1) and 20(3)(a) of the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003.

Sara Shaw, Procurator Fiscal, Wildlife and Environment said: “Scottish Water failed to take effective remedial steps to address various issues that had been identified over a period of months leading up to this incident. Had those steps been taken at an earlier stage the incident could have been avoided.

"The failure to adequately address real areas of risk as they came to light and the resulting impact on the local community is disappointing."

The firm pleaded guilty on January 30 and their fine was reduced from £28,500 because of an early plea. 

Chief operating officer for Scottish Water, Peter Farrer, said: “Scottish Water takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously. 

"This incident was very regrettable and we apologise unreservedly for it.

“Scottish Water is responsible for the treatment of 1 billion litres of waste water every day and has 1827 waste water treatment works, 33,058 miles of waste water pipes and 2863 pumping stations. Incidents like this are very rare.

“We have already undertaken a programme of work costing more than £100m so far, with another £10m-£12m to follow, in order to prevent similar events at the pumping station and to protect the network in the future.

"The Shieldhall Tunnel, completed in 2018, is improving water quality in the River Clyde, reducing the risk of flooding, and in respect of this incident reducing the strain on the Kinning Park Pumping Station. 

"Further capital investment is being planned for the pumping station to improve our infrastructure there.”