NI Water Pleads Guilty To Water Pollution Near Killinchy

NI Water Ltd fined at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court for polluting River Blackwater near Killinchy

Northern Ireland Water Limited was fined £5000 plus £15 Offenders Levy at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court.

The company pleaded guilty under Article 7.2 of the Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 as amended in respect of a pollution incident affecting the Blackwater River.

The Court heard that on 22 August 2022, NIEA Water Quality Inspectors (WQIs) discovered a discharge of poorly treated sewage entering the Blackwater River from the Killinchy Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW).

The NIEA Inspectors confirmed that a visibly grey and malodorous effluent was discharging to the river via the Killinchy WwTW outfall. It was consistent with poorly or partially treated sewage.

The observations were made during a period of prolonged dry weather. Upstream of the discharge point for the works, the river was observed to be running visibly clear.

Northern Ireland Water Limited has a Discharge Consent in place for discharges made from the Killinchy WwTW,.

However, from the investigations carried out in August 2022 and afterwards, NIEA contended that Northern Ireland Water Limited had committed offences in respect of the Water (NI) Order 1999. 

The company pleaded guilty to a charge in respect of Article 7(2) on 19 April 2024.   

Anyone wishing to report a pollution incident can call the 24-hour Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.


It is an offence under the Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 (as amended by the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006) under Article 7(1)(a) to make a polluting discharge to a waterway, under Article 7(2) to make a discharge of trade or sewage effluent into a waterway and under Article 7(6) for contravening the conditions of a consent issued under Article 7A3(a). This list is not exhaustive.