Farm Ireland

Saturday 17 March 2018

Farmers hit with fines in connection to silage effluent fish kill

FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

Two farmers from Fermanagh have been fined at Omagh Magistrates' Court in connection to a fishkill in which over 190 fish were found dead.

Francis White from Magheralough Road, Trillick pleaded guilty to making a polluting discharge to a waterway and was fined £750 (€852) and ordered to pay fish costs of £885.60 (€1,005).

In a separate case connected to the same fishkill incident, Brendan McBride of Gargadis Road, Trillick also pleaded guilty and was fined £750 (€852) and ordered to pay fish costs of £354 (€402) for making a polluting discharge to a water way.

On 3 July 2015, Water Quality Inspectors (WQIs) acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) inspected a tributary of the Ballinmallard River and observed a discharge of strong smelling effluent entering the waterway via concrete pipework.

The waterway appeared clean and clear of any pollution above this discharge. The discharge was traced to farm premises owned by Mr White.

The WQIs also traced a discharge to farm premises owned by Mr McBride. Investigation revealed silage effluent escaping through a hole in PVC piping used to take silage effluent to a holding tank

Upon further investigation, 189 native brown trout were noted dead in the main Ballinmallard River down to below Ballinapaste Bridge, along with a number of dead stoneloach, minnows and crayfish.

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

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