Firm fined £2k for discharge of sewage

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A local business has been fined £2,000 for illegally discharging sewage into a river, it has been revealed.

Davison Canners Limited, based at Summerisland Road, Portadown, pleaded guilty to causing regular unconsented discharges of sewage effluent.

It is understood the effluent came from their warehouses and entered the nearby Tall River.

Davison Canners Ltd was fined £2,000 and £15 offender levy, plus £31 court costs at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 1 November 2016.

It was revealed that on 9 December 2013, a Water Quality Inspector (WQI), acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) discovered a septic tank discharging sewage effluent to a waterway.

A spokesperson from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) said in a statement following the conviction: “During a visit to the site on 12 December 2013 the Inspector discovered another septic tank discharging to an unnamed tributary of the Tall River.

“On 14 January 2014 the Inspector contacted the Trade Consents team to advise that an unconsented discharge was occurring from the warehouses adjacent to Davison Canners Ltd.

“The NIEA also contacted Davison Canners on a number of occasions during 2014,” said the spokesperson.

“On 27 January 2015 the Inspector collected a statutory sample of the sewage discharge leaving the site from each septic tank serving the warehouses adjacent to Summerisland Road.

“The Inspector noted there was a strong smell of sewage coming from the premises, synonymous with untreated sewage and septic tank effluent.

“Tracing dye was added to the septic tank to confirm its route of discharge, the discharge from the first septic tank was observed as it emerged from a plastic pipe and entered the unnamed tributary of the Tall River,” the spokesperson added.

“Tracing dye was added to the second sampling point; the dye was observed in the discharge leaving the second septic tank and was observed entering the tributary of the Tall River via an orange pipe,” the DAERA spokesperson said.

“Unregulated sewage discharges adversely affect the aquatic environment, also if these discharges are not adequately treated, can escalate into a public health issue,” said the spokesperson.

“Anyone wishing to report a pollution incident can call the 24 hour Water Pollution Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”