A developer who illegally re-routed sewer mains in Co. Armagh has been fined after he was taken to court by NI Water.
Enda Tucker was convicted of two offences following the unauthorised rerouting of a sewer and the making of unauthorised sewer and water connections to accommodate the development of three properties at Hillside Crescent, Poyntzpass.
Receiving £3,000 in fines, NI Water was also awarded costs of £4,194 which Tucker was ordered to pay within 14 weeks.
In failing to engage with NI Water, substandard infrastructure was installed to serve the properties in Hillside Crescent.
As a consequence of the actions of the developer, NI Water is now looking at options for remedial works, the costs of which will be recovered by NI Water.
These works are made more difficult due to the homes now being finished and occupied with the surrounding grounds completed. These options will be offered to Tucker and the homeowners to consider.
Gary Little, Compliance, Manager for NI Water, said: “This is a welcome result and should be seen as a strong message to developers who choose to ignore established practices and do not consult NI Water during the development process.
“I would underline to all concerned that it is an offence to interfere with our water or sewerage network. NI Water takes any interference with its network very seriously and will seek to bring the perpetrators to court when identified.”
Johnny Russell, Developments Manager for NI Water, added: “This situation was entirely avoidable. If NI Water had been properly consulted; we would have been able offer our assistance. Unauthorised and blatant interference of this type leaves homeowners in a position where their properties are served by sub-standard and problematic infrastructure. Such actions have the potential to invalidate insurance claims made on the property or impact its value. It may even render the property unsaleable.
“NI Water strongly recommends that buyers and solicitors involved in the house buying process should obtain robust assurance from the vendor that all water and sewerage services have been legitimately installed.”