Dromore farmer has been fined after water pollution kills fish

County Down farmer, Alan Wilson (56) from Lurgan Road, Dromore has been convicted at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court for a water pollution offence.
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Mr Wilson pleaded guilty and was fined £750 plus £15 Offenders Levy and ordered to pay £960.64 as compensation to the DAERA as a result of a fish kill. The waterway impacted was the River Lagan.

Mr Wilson was fined and charged under Article 7(1)(a) of the Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 as amended for the offence of making a polluting discharge to a waterway.

The Court heard that dead fish were confirmed in the River Lagan, on the evening of August 23, 2022.

A Dromore farmer has been fined at Craigavon Magistrates Court. Pic credit: Tony HendronA Dromore farmer has been fined at Craigavon Magistrates Court. Pic credit: Tony Hendron
A Dromore farmer has been fined at Craigavon Magistrates Court. Pic credit: Tony Hendron

The following day a Senior Water Quality Inspector acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) observed dead fish in the waterway and dead fish on the riverbed.

An investigation discovered a black plastic pipe discharging brown coloured farm effluent to the River Lagan.

The contamination was caused by urea fertiliser entering the River Lagan via storm drainage systems on Mr Wilson’s farm.

A strong odour of ammonia was detected from the effluent.

A tripartite statutory sample was collected. The sample was analysed and found to contain poisonous, noxious, or polluting matter which was potentially harmful to fish life in the receiving waterway.

It is an offence under the Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 (as amended by the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006) under Article 7(1)(a) to make a polluting discharge to a waterway, under Article 7(2) to make a discharge of trade or sewage effluent into a waterway and under Article 7(6) for contravening the conditions of a consent issued under Article 7A3(a).