Farmer fined for polluting waterway

A FARMER from Banbridge has been fined £750 for polluting a waterway near his farm.

Mr Jeff Mathers of Ballygowan Road was charged under the Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 for making a polluting discharge to a waterway at Ballygowan Road.

He pleaded guilty to the offence and was fined £750 plus £28 court costs at Newry Magistrates Court.

On February 16 last year, Water Quality Inspectors, acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) inspected a waterway at Ballygowan Road, Banbridge and observed fungus on the bed of the waterway.

In excess of 200 metres of waterway was affected by the discharge. The source of the polluting discharge was traced to farm premises owned by Mr Mathers.

A sample taken at the time of the incident confirmed that the discharge contained poisonous, noxious or polluting matter which was potentially harmful to fish life in the receiving waterway.

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