Northern Ireland Water has been fined £2,000 after pleading guilty to polluting a major river.
A blockage in the sewerage system caused poisonous discharge to pollute the Six Mile Water river at Clotworthy Bridge in Antrim.
An official from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency observed the untreated sewage stretching for 500 metres on the river on May 3 last year.
NI Water staff were alerted and discovered inappropriate items had caused one of the pumps at Massereene sewage pumping station to trip.
The fine was imposed at Antrim Magistrates Court yesterday where NI Water pleaded guilty to making a polluting discharge to a waterway and breach of consent.
A DoE statement said: “A sample taken at the time of the incident confirmed that the discharge contained poisonous, noxious |or polluting matter which was potentially harmful to fish life”.
Antrim mayor Pam Lewis welcomed the fine saying she hoped it would act as a deterrent.
A NI Water spokesperson said while it is responsible for the sewerage system, the public can help by not flushing “inappropriate items down the toilet”.
“Inappropriate items include cotton buds, nappies, sanitary items, household wipes and condoms which regularly make their way through the sewerage system and block the pumps.”