The Tactic of Diversion: Northampton and the Brinsop Hall
Because of the special nature of water pollution in rivers, one possible strategy that may be followed by polluters to offset or abate any legal nuisance is simply to divert polluting materials through other channels so the complainants are no longer affected. This provided a tempting solution for a number of the defendants among the towns involved in sewage pollution cases, though in no case is there evidence that Chancery explicitly encouraged such solutions. But Chancery will only notice complaints and petitions brought to its attention by plaintiffs, so a diversion of polluting materials away from the complainant can satisfy legal demands and orders but yet do nothing for the general environment. We can, then, see legal abatement of the nuisance while the physical pollution continues unaffected, elsewhere.