SOUTHERN Water has been prosecuted for allowing raw sewage to enter a tributary of the River Itchen at Eastleigh.

Appearing at New Forest Magistrates' Court the company admitted the offence and was fined £5,000 with £3,440 costs.

The court heard that problems with a main at a pumping station resulted in sewage entering Monks Brook via an overflow pipe.

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An Environment Agency spokesman said: "The pipe must only be used in the event of storm conditions or when there has been an electrical failure, and neither situation had taken place.

"Southern Water are also required to report discharges immediately but it took the company over an hour to notify the agency of the incident."