NI Water fined over Greysteel water pollution

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NI Water was today (July 20) fined £1,000 plus £73 court costs at Limavady Magistrates’ Court, following a pollution incident at Greysteel Wastewater Treatment Works.

On November 7 2008, a Water Quality Inspector acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) found that a stream beside the Wastewater Treatment Works at Greysteel, was visibly polluted.

Further investigation showed that the stream was grey in colour and smelled of sewage, with discoloured effluent visible for some distance downstream. This stream eventually flowed to Lough Foyle.

The pollution was traced upstream to Northern Ireland Water’s Greysteel Wastewater Treatment Works, where a storm tank was found to be overflowing.

NI Water pleaded guilty to the charge of discharging sewage effluent to a waterway.

A spokesperson for NI Water said the pollution had been caused by “a mechanical failure.”

“The incident is linked to a mechanical failure which resulted in equipment which helped control the flows from the treatment works failing to work effectively. This resulted in a restriction of the flows causing a discharge via the storm tank to the water course.

“NI Water acted to stop the discharge to the river as soon as staff were made aware of it. A clean up was not required and no fish were killed as a result.

“NI Water identified areas within the Works that will improve the alarm process and reduce future discharges which will minimise the risk of this occurring again.”