A Benburb apple company has been fined £7,000 for polluting a waterway.
Benburb Bramleys Limited pleaded guilty at Dungannon Magistrates’ Court today (Monday).
In addition to the fine, the defendant was ordered to pay court costs of £25 and an Offenders’ Levy of £15.
The court heard that, on June 10 last year, a Water Quality Inspector, acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, inspected an unnamed tributary of the Blackwater River and observed solid pieces of apple in the waterway.
The Inspector traced the source of the pollution to where a recent discharge of apple processing waste had left the premises of Benburb Bramleys Limited, with an address at 228 Derryfubble Road, Benburb.
The Inspector observed apple processing effluent entering and leaving a chamber on the site; this chamber had two outlet pipes.
A dye test carried out three days later confirmed that one of the outlet pipes was connected to the unnamed tributary of the Blackwater River.
Samples taken at the time of the incidents confirmed that the discharges contained high Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Chemical Oxygen Demand and a high Chloride and Suspended Solids content.
The material represented by the sample taken from below the Benburb Bramleys Limited premises contained poisonous, noxious and polluting matter which would have been potentially harmful to aquatic life in a receiving watercourse.
Anyone wishing to report a pollution incident can call the 24 hour Water Pollution Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.
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