A County Down farmer was fined £4,000 on 7 April, for polluting a watercourse in May 2009. Ivan Robinson appeared at Newtonards magistrates court, where he pleaded guilty to a charge under article 7(1)(a) of the Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999.
The case stemmed from inspections of the Blackwater river at Ravara Road, Ballygowan, by a water quality inspector acting for the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
On each of 19, 20 and 22 May 2009, effluent was seen entering the watercourse from a farm manure heap. A sample taken on 22 May confirmed the discharge contained poisonous, noxious or polluting matter and posed a risk to fish.