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Eglish firm fined after ‘High Severity Incident’ saw 8km of waterway polluted


An Eglish company has been fined following a ‘High Severity Incident’ which saw 8km of waterway polluted last year.

Joseph Barrett and Sons Limited, based on Eglish Road, was convicted today and fined £2,500 and given a £15 Offenders Levy at Omagh Magistrates’ Court for a water pollution offence in respect of Article 7(1)(a) of the Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 as amended.

The Court heard that on 18 April 2023, Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) Water Quality Inspectors (WQIs) responded to a report of suspended solids in the Altamuskin River near Sixmilecross.

The waterway appeared to be contaminated with suspended solids and this discharge had occurred when a settlement pond was having silt removed causing suspended solids to discharge to the waterway through an overflow pipe.

The Inspectors also discovered a grey coloured liquid with the appearance of cement washings exiting a discharge pipe and causing a visible grey coloured plume in the waterway.

A tripartite statutory sample was collected from the piped discharge.

The sample was analysed, and the material represented by the sample contained poisonous, noxious or polluting matter which would have been potentially harmful to aquatic life in a receiving waterway.

Back on site, in the vicinity of the lorry wash bay, an active discharge was observed entering a manhole which was traced to the piped discharge point, from where the sample was collected.

This incident was classified as a High Severity Incident that impacted more than 8km of waterway.

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

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