Co Antrim farmer fined for water pollution

Date published: 07 June 2019

Farmer Chris Lynch (50) from Causeway Road, Bushmills, County Antrim, was convicted at Coleraine Magistrates' Court today for causing water pollution on Runkerry Beach, Bushmills. Mr Lynch pleaded guilty and was fined £500 plus £15 Offenders Levy.

On 25 September 2018 a Senior Water Quality Inspector, acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency responded to a report of pollution in a stream flowing onto the Runkerry Beach near Bushmills.

The Senior Inspector observed dark green/brown discolouration in the waterway and an agricultural odour was detected.  The Senior Inspector traced the waterway upstream to a farm on the Causeway Road.  The effluent was traced to a large above ground slurry store, the Inspector discovered there was a leak in the slurry store and dark green coloured liquid was observed jetting from the side of it. The ground in front of the slurry store was saturated with a dark coloured liquid from this leak. The slurry was flowing down approximately 100m of drainage pipe before entering the waterway.

In accordance with procedures a statutory sample of the active discharge was collected from the drainage pipe. 

The sample of the discharge was analysed and found to contain poisonous, noxious, or 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 river invertebrates, on which fish feed, of oxygen.    

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

Notes to editors: 

  1. Chris Lynch was fined £500 and charged under Article 7(1)(a) of the Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 for the offence of making a polluting discharge to a waterway on 25 September 2018.
  2. The Department may take photographs and videos at announcements and events to publicise its work. Photographs, interviews, videos or other recordings may be issued to media organisations for publicity purposes or used in promotional material, including in publications, newspapers, magazines, other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including social media and the internet). Photographs and videos will also be stored on the department’s internal records management system. The department will keep the photographs and recordings for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which they have been obtained. The department’s Privacy Policy is available on our website.
  3. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook
  4. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or via email. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.


Share this page

Back to top