Upperlands firm fined £1,000 for pollution of river

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William Clark & Sons Limited pleaded guilty and was fined a total of £1,000, plus Court Costs of £46 and Offenders Levy of £15 at Magherafelt Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

On a number of occasions between 26 February 2013 and 31 May 2013, a Water Quality Inspector, acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency inspected a tributary of Knockoneill River which flows into the Clady River and observed the water was grey in colour and fungus was observed covering the stones on the bed of the waterway.

The Inspector observed an active discharge from the consented discharge pipe and the mixing tank. A second pipe was observed discharging a discoloured liquid into the mixing tank adjacent to the consented discharge pipe.

The discharges were traced to premises operated by William Clark & Sons at Upperlands, Maghera.

Samples taken at the time of the incidents confirmed that the discharges contained high Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) with high Suspended Solids contents. The material represented by all three discharges contained noxious and polluting matter which would have been potentially harmful to aquatic 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.