A business in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh has been fined for water pollution offences totalling £17,500 plus a £15 Offenders Levy.

The Yolk Folk Egg Products Ltd. pleaded guilty to the charges brought against it at Enniskillen Magistrates’ court yesterday (Wednesday, February 15).

The company was investigated by a Water Quality Inspector (WQI) acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) in July of 2020.

In a section of the Arney River, the WQI discovered the presence of sewage fungus and bloodworms downstream from a storm pipe.

They then met with the owner on-site where they discovered that chicken shed washings were entering the storm drainage system, according to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

In June of 2021, the WQI returned and found slurry and manure washings entering a field between the chicken sheds before flowing into the waterway.

They reported a dark-coloured effluent running from the storm pipe, causing a dark-coloured plume of effluent further downstream.

The discharge was collected and tested and it was found to contain poisonous, noxious or polluting matter which was “potentially harmful to fish life” in the receiving waterway, according to DAERA.

On February 4, 2022, following a further complaint, slurry deposits which had flowed off the laneway and into an adjacent field were discovered by the WQI.

At the waterway discharge point the WQI noted sludge, bloodworms and sewage fungus present in the open waterway.

The Yolk Folk Egg Products Ltd. was consequently fined £2,500 for the offence in 2020; £5,000 for the offence in 2021; and £10,000 and for the offence in 2022, under various sections of Article 7 of the Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 as amended by the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006.