Co. Down farmer Joseph Harold Turtle (46) from Moss Road, Millisle was convicted and fined £1,000 plus £15 Offender Levy at Newtownards Magistrates' Court today.
On February 2nd, 2018, a water quality inspector, acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, discovered a tributary of the Mill Burn was impacted by extensive growth of sewage fungus.
The inspector traced the fungus upstream to a discharge of farm effluent from a waterlogged field; immediately upstream, the waterway was clear of sewage fungus.
In accordance with procedures, a statutory sample of the active discharge of farm effluent was collected.
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, according to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
The DAERA stressed that 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.