Co Londonderry farmer fined £1,000 for water pollution offence

Date published: 23 June 2021

A County Londonderry farmer, Jordan Philip Yorke (28), of Inishrush Road, Inishrush was convicted today at Magherafelt Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Londonderry Courthouse, of water pollution offences.

Mr Yorke pleaded guilty and received a fine of £1,000 plus £15 Offenders Levy.

The Court heard that on 6 August 2019 Water Quality Inspectors (WQIs), acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) carried out an inspection at the Tyanee Burn, upstream of its confluence with the Clady River.  The Inspectors observed extensive grey fungus on the bed of the Tyanee Burn and on vegetation along the waterway and its tributaries for approximately 1.7km. 

The Inspectors entered the farm on the Inishrush Road and discovered a silage clamp with effluent discharging from the rear of the clamp.  This silage effluent was ponding next to and entering the storm drains of an adjacent shed as well as ponding in a nearby field.

In accordance with procedures a tripartite statutory sample of the active discharge was collected and 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. Jordan Philip Yorke was fined £1,000 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 6 August 2019.
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