Maghera farmer pleads guilty to river pollution

River pollution
River pollution

A Maghera farmer was given an absolute discharge at Magherafelt Magistrates’ Court today for making a polluting discharge to a waterway.

Mr Michael McKenna, Brackaghreilly Road, Maghera, Co Londonderry, pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay £25 court costs.

On 3 March 2013, a Water Quality Inspector acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) inspected an unnamed tributary of the Black Burn at Five Mile Straight, Maghera and observed the waterway to be green in colour and a strong agricultural odour could be detected.

Approximately 1,000 metres of waterway was affected by the discharge. The source of the polluting discharge was traced to a farm owned by Mr McKenna.

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.