20/02/2008

Northern Ireland Water Fined For Pollution

Northern Ireland Water has been fined after untreated sewage was discovered in two rivers in west Belfast.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court yesterday fined the company £100 and ordered them to pay costs of £211, for causing pollution at Colin Glen River.

The company admitted in court it was to blame for the discharge from the Dunmurry Wastewater Treatment Works.

The court heard that, on 1 April 2007, an Environment and Heritage Service inspector investigated a pollution incident affecting the Colin Glen River and subsequently the River Lagan at Dunmurry. The discharge was traced to the Dunmurry Wastewater Treatment Works where he found a discharge of untreated sewage overflowing from the storm tanks.

Environment and Heritage Service recommended that Public Prosecution Service initiate proceedings against Northern Ireland Water Ltd under the Water (NI) Order 1999, specifically under Article 7(1) “discharging polluting matter” and under Article 7(6) “contravening the conditions of the consent to discharge”.

Northern Ireland Water Ltd pleaded guilty in court in respect of both breaches. The company fined £100 plus court costs of £25. Costs of £186 were also awarded for analysis.

It was the company's first conviction for causing water pollution since losing Crown immunity on 1 April 2007.

(VB)

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