A farmer in Northern Ireland has been fined for polluting a waterway with silage effluent.

William Steele from Liswatty Road, Coleraine was was convicted for making a polluting discharge to a waterway and fined £600 plus a £15 offenders levy at in Coleraine today.

On February, 10, 2016, a Water Quality Inspector (WQI) acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), inspected a waterway at Ballyvelton Road, Coleraine and observed fungal growth in the waterway.

The source of the polluting discharge was traced to the farm owned by the farmer.

The Inspectors discovered silage effluent had entered a storm inspection chamber and from there it flowed to the waterway.

A dye test carried out in February demonstrated continuity between the storm chamber and the waterway. The waterway was impacted for a distance of some 1.6km.

A sample taken at the time of the incident confirmed that the discharge contained poisonous, noxious or polluting matter which was potentially harmful to fish life in the receiving waterway.

A similar case involving the solution of a waterway occurred in September, when Carrickfergus farmer, William Barron, pleaded guilty for causing polluting discharge to enter a waterway.

The case followed a visit from a Water Quality Inspector acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on June 1.

During the visit, the inspector examined the Craignabraher Burn at Loughmourne Road, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim and observed the waterway was very discoloured and smelled strongly of slurry.

The source of the slurry was traced back to the farm owned by Barron, where it was found that the pollution was caused by slurry running from the slurry lagoon across a field and entering the waterway.

According to the  Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the impact on the waterway was in excess of a distance of one mile.