Ian McFarlane with an address at Ballygrainey Road, Holywood was convicted and ordered to pay £4,000 plus £15 Offenders Levy at Newtownards Magistrates Court today for causing water pollution.
On September 18th 2017, a Water Quality Inspector, acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency investigated a pollution incident which resulted in farm effluent being discharged to an unnamed stream near Helen’s Bay which discharges to Belfast Lough.
The source of pollution was traced to a farm at Ballygrainey Road, Holywood - property of Ian McFarlane. The inspector discovered a storm manhole in the yard had slurry flowing through it and an overflow tank downstream of the farm was observed to be full of slurry, according to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.
In accordance with procedures, a statutory sample of the flow to the overflow tank was collected. The inspector discovered sewage fungus in the open stream and at Craigdarragh Road - a distance of 1.6km downstream of the farm.
The sample of the discharge collected on September 18th 2017 was analysed and found to poisonous; noxious; or polluting matter which was potentially harmful to fish life in the receiving waterway.
The effluent of this nature enriches fungus coverage on the bed of the watercourse which may lead to the destruction of fish spawning sites, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs stressed.
Anyone wishing to report a pollution incident can call the 24 hour Water Pollution Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.