A County Tyrone farmer was convicted today at Dungannon Magistrates’ Court for a water pollution offence.
Derek Henry, 65, of Annaghone Road in Stewartstown pleaded guilty and was fined £450 plus £15 Offenders Levy.
The Court was told that on February 18, 2020 a Water Quality Inspector (WQI) acting on behalf of Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) responded to a report of pollution from an out-farm at Templereagh Road, Stewartstown.
The WQI observed mixed farm effluent overflowing a retaining wall from a slurry lagoon. The discharge was observed flowing along a farm lane, across the Templereagh Road before entering an unnamed tributary of the Kingsmill River.
In accordance with procedures a statutory sample of the active discharge was collected, analysed and was found to contain polluting matter which was potentially harmful to fish life in the receiving waterway.
Effluents of this nature enrich fungus coverage on the bed of the watercourse which may lead to the destruction of fish spawning sites, as well as starving both fish and river invertebrates, on which fish feed, of oxygen. Effluents with high ammonia content are also directly toxic to fish life in receiving watercourses.
Anyone wishing to report a pollution incident can call the 24 hour Water Pollution Hotline on: 0800 80 70 60.