Mon, 27 Mar 2023

Co Fermanagh business fined for water pollution offences

Northern Ireland Executive
15 Feb 2023, 22 GMT+10

A County Fermanagh business, The Yolk Folk Egg Products Ltd, Old Coach Road, Arney, Enniskillen pleaded guilty and were fined a total of Pound 17,500 plus Pound 15 Offenders Levy at Enniskillen Magistrates' Court today.

The Court was told that on 20 July 2020 as a result of a complaint a Water Quality Inspector (WQI) acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) examined an unnamed tributary of the Arney River and discovered the presence of sewage fungus and bloodworms downstream from a storm pipe.  The WQI met with the owner on site where he discovered that chicken shed washings were entering the storm drainage system and the waterway.

On 3 June 2021 when the WQI returned to the premises, he discovered slurry and manure washings entering a field between the chicken sheds before flowing into the waterway.  A dark coloured effluent was running from the storm pipe and causing a dark coloured plume of effluent further downstream.  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 both fish and river invertebrates, on which fish feed, of oxygen.  Effluents with high ammonia content are directly toxic to fish life in receiving watercourses.     

On 4 February 2022 following a further complaint, the WQI discovered slurry deposits which had flowed off the laneway and into the adjacent field, beside a collection tank which was full and overflowing.  At the waterway discharge point the WQI noted sludge, bloodworms and sewage fungus present in the open waterway.

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

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