Farmer in court after connecting to a public water main

editorial image

An Armagh farmer has been fined and ordered to pay compensation after he admitted connecting to a public water main without consent and tampering with a water metre.

William Morton, of 125 Ballyards Road, pleaded guilty at Newry Court last Friday (21 April 2017) to two offences under the Water and Sewerage Services (NI) Order 2006.

He was fined £800 on each offence with an offender’s levy fee of £15 and £37 court costs. In addition, the Court imposed a compensation order of £12,834.19, as well as legal costs of £900.

NI Water attended the farm on 27 May 2016 and found an illegal connection used by Morton to supply unmeasured mains water to the property.

A statement from NI Water pointed out that it is an offence to connect to the water or sewerage network without the consent of NI Water.

“This is not a ‘victimless crime’. This reckless action has the potential to contaminate water supplies or lead to pollution incidents,” the statement added.

“NI Water takes any interference with its network and meter tampering very seriously and seeks to bring the perpetrators to court when identified. NI Water will also seek to back bill perpetrators for up to six years’ water charges.

“NI Water would appeal to the public to be vigilant. If you are aware of anyone who has or is making an illegal connection to the water or sewerage network, we would urge you to report this to NI Water’s dedicated Waterline on 03457 440088.”