Farmer fined £1,500 for causing pollution to waterway

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A farmer was today fined £1,500 at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court for polluting around 3.5 kilometres of a County Down waterway.

David James (Jay) Warden, of Gransha Road, Bangor, pleaded guilty and was fined £1,500 for making a polluting discharge to a waterway.

On 11 July 2015, Water Quality Inspectors (WQI) acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) investigated a pollution incident which was caused by farm yard effluent being discharged to a tributary of the Cotton River, Bangor. The inspectors discovered the waterway was covered in sewage fungus immediately downstream and discoloured as far as Ballyholme Beach where the Ballyholme River meets Belfast Lough.

Inspectors entered the farm at Gransha Road and observed silage effluent discharging from a storm pipe to an open water course adjacent to the farm yard. The stream smelled strongly of silage effluent and was impacted by sewage fungus from the silage effluent tank actively discharging to the waterway adjacent to the farm yard. In accordance with procedures a statutory sample of the effluent was collected.

The court was told this was a serious polluting discharge that allowed farm effluent to enter a waterway which flows to Ballyholme Beach, an important local amenity and Blue Flag Beach. The polluting discharge affected 3.5 kilometres of waterway.

Anyone wishing to report a pollution incident can call the 24 hour Water Pollution Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.