Co Tyrone farmer fined for water pollution offence

Date published: 25 July 2022

Keith Russell (54) of Camderry Road, Dromore, Co Tyrone pleaded guilty and was fined £1,500 plus £15 Offenders Levy at Omagh Magistrates' Court today.

The Court was told that on 9 November 2020 a Water Quality Inspectors (WQI) acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) responded to a report of pollution in a tributary of the Owenreagh River.  The Inspectors observed extensive sewage fungus across the bed of the stream.  The Inspectors continued upstream to a farm on the Camderry Road.  The Inspectors discovered a tank on the farm was overflowing with farm effluent which was flowing over an adjacent field and into the waterway.

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. Keith Russell was charged and fined £1,500 under Article 7(1)(a) of the Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999, as amended by the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 for the offence of making a polluting discharge to a waterway on 9 November 2020.
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