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Friday 24 November 2017

Fines issued after inspectors find silage effluent being piped into waterway

Inspectors responded to a report of pollution in the Altagoan River at Gortnaskey Road, Draperstown. Image PA
Inspectors responded to a report of pollution in the Altagoan River at Gortnaskey Road, Draperstown. Image PA
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

A Northern Ireland construction company was today fined for causing pollution to a County Derry waterway.

On 22 March 2016, Water Quality Inspectors (WQI), acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), responded to a report of pollution in the Altagoan River at Gortnaskey Road, Draperstown.

The inspector observed extensive beige coloured fungal growth in the Altagoan River. A strong agricultural odour was detected from the water.

They discovered an active discharge of a dark coloured liquid with a strong odour exiting a blue pipe and entering the Altagoan River.

A sample of the discharge was collected.

The inspectors followed the fungus upstream, a black pipe was observed discharging liquid over a bank and entering the waterway.

Pollution took place in the Altagoan River at Gortnaskey Road, Draperstown. Image Google Maps
Pollution took place in the Altagoan River at Gortnaskey Road, Draperstown. Image Google Maps

This pipe was located at the bottom of an embankment from the direction of the construction site where an anaerobic digestion plant was under construction.

 An odour of silage effluent was detected from this discharge. A sample of the discharge was collected.

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During an inspection of the silage clamp, the inspectors observed effluent flowing from the concrete slab area onto the hard-core yard area.

The inspector proceeded further upstream and observed a second black pipe actively discharging to the Altagoan River. A sample of the discharge was collected.

All three samples confirmed that the discharge contained poisonous, noxious or polluting matter which was potentially harmful to fish life in the receiving waterway.

Corramore Construction Ltd pleaded guilty and was fined €827 (£750) plus €16.50 (£15) Offenders Levy at Magherafelt Magistrates’ Court for causing polluting discharge to enter a waterway.


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