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Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard that an Environment and Heritage Service inspector investigated a pollution incident affecting the Colin Glen River on April 1st. Subsequently, it was found that the nearby River Lagan at Dunmurry was also polluted.

Eventually, the discharge was traced to the Dunmurry Wastewater Treatment Works. Here, a discharge of untreated sewage overflowing from the storm tanks was unearthed.

As a result, Environment and Heritage Service recommended that the Public Prosecution Service started proceedings against Northern Ireland Water. In particular, the firm was charged with “discharging polluting matter” and “contravening the conditions of the consent to discharge”.

Northern Ireland Water pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined. It was also ordered to pay court costs and fees for the analysis of the wastewater.

Recently, local campaigners in west Ireland complained that a new wastewater plant would pollute the waters of Clew Bay and impact the lives of local shellfish farmers.

James Cooper

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