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Dye test used in investigation to convict Coleraine farmer of polluting river

A farmer pleaded guilty and was fined £600 plus £15 Offenders Levy at Coleraine Magistrates' Court today.

Mr William Steele from Liswatty Road, Coleraine was convicted for making a polluting discharge to a waterway.

On 10 February 2016, a Water Quality Inspector (WQI) acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), inspected a waterway at Ballyvelton Road, Coleraine and observed fungal growth in the waterway.

The source of the polluting discharge was traced to the farm owned by Mr Steele. The Inspectors discovered silage effluent had entered a storm inspection chamber and from there it flowed to the waterway.

A dye test carried out on 10 February 2016 demonstrated continuity between the storm chamber and the waterway. The waterway was impacted for a distance of some 1.6 kilometres. 

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 in the receiving waterway.

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