Northern Ireland Water Ltd was today convicted and fined a total of £13,000 at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court for causing a polluting discharge.
On a total of five dates, from March 2014 to July 2015, there was a discharge of sewage effluent from the NIWL Wastewater Treatment Works at Moneyrea, Co.Down.
On 14 March 2014 a Water Quality Inspector (WQI), acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), observed a discharge of sewage to the Blackwater River, Co. Down. The river was severely impacted for several hundred metres downstream of the discharge. Further investigation traced the source of this discharge to the NIWL Wastewater Treatment Works at Moneyrea, Co. Down.
On four further occasions over the next 16 months (1 May 2014, 2 July 2014, 14 October 2014 and 30 July 2015) NIEA found this discharge to be recurring.
Samples taken at the time of these incidents confirmed that the discharge contained poisonous, noxious or polluting matter which was potentially harmful to fish life in the receiving waterway.