Magherafelt farmer fined £650 for causing polluting discharge to waterway

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Robert Duncan from Ballymoughan Road, Magherafelt, was convicted and fined £650 at Magherafelt Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Monday) for making a polluting discharge to a waterway in 2015.

On 13 January 2015, Water Quality Inspectors (WQIs), acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), inspected a waterway at Ballymoughan Road, Magherafelt and observed a heavy grey/brown fungal growth covering 100% of the bed of the waterway. The source of the polluting discharge was traced to the farm owned by Duncan. On the farm the WQIs discovered large cracks in the yard concrete. The WQIs also noted cracks at the back wall of a midden lagoon and observed a flow of effluent entering a block built chamber.

Dye tests carried out on 13 January 2015 demonstrated continuity between the effluent discharging from the farm and the waterway. The waterway was impacted for a distance of some 1.1km.

A sample taken at the time of the incident confirmed that the discharge contained poisonous, noxious or polluting matter which was potentially harmful to fish life in the receiving waterway.

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