An East Kilbride farmer was fined £810 on Monday 10 September after being found guilty of polluting a local watercourse.
Mr Hugh Neilson pled guilty at Hamilton Sheriff Court to storing silage and farmyard manure in ways which led to significant quantities of silage effluent and slurry entering the Cleughearn Burn and the Calder Water. The matter was investigated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and a report prepared for the Procurator Fiscal.
In August 2010, SEPA officers were informed by Mr Neilson of an incident at the farm, where workers overfilled a silage pit which overflowed during heavy rainfall. This caused silage effluent to enter the main drainage system which connects with the Cleughearn Burn. Despite Mr Neilson eradicating the issue of excess silage, SEPA officers decided that action should be taken given the potential impact on the watercourse and the previous history of pollution events at the site.
Through an inspection of the watercourse, numerous samples collected downstream from Park Farm were found to be heavily polluted. Considerable fungal growth and odours were also discovered at points downstream from the site, as well as a noticeable decrease in living organisms.
A further inspection was carried out in November 2010, following a complaint from a member of the public who had reported pollution in the Calder Water and Cleughearn Burn. During the inspection, SEPA officers observed a large pile of manure being stored on the edge of a silage pit. Due to its ineffective placement, the manure was mixing with surface water and running into the main drainage system and, eventually, the watercourse
In January 2012, another complaint was received by SEPA with regards to further pollution in the Cleughearn Burn. After noticing large amounts of sewage fungus in the burn, and an unnamed tributary, SEPA officers discovered the pollution was coming from a dug out pit which accepts surface water drainage from Mr Neilson’s farm. Mr Neilson admitted the pollution was due to excess manure which was being ineffectively stored within the silage pit. This resulted in slurry spilling out in front of the pit, down an adjacent field and into the unnamed tributary.
Following the repeated pollution events associated with the site, SEPA Officers concluded that, despite his co-operation, Mr Neilson had continually failed to operate in an environmentally responsible way and felt they were left with no option but to recommend the case to the Procurator Fiscal.
via £810 water pollution fine for East Kilbride Farmer.