Pig farmer fined over pollution

PUBLISHED: 10:57 23 March 2006 | UPDATED: 14:38 12 May 2010

A PIG farmer who allowed pig slurry to pollute Sandon Brook has been fined £5,500. Guy Butler-Henderson, of Beckfield Farm, Buntingford, admitted a case brought by the Environment Agency at Stevenage Magistrates' Court on Thursday. He was also ordered to

A PIG farmer who allowed pig slurry to pollute Sandon Brook has been fined £5,500. Guy Butler-Henderson, of Beckfield Farm, Buntingford, admitted a case brought by the Environment Agency at Stevenage Magistrates' Court on Thursday. He was also ordered to pay £1730.30 in court costs. Butler-Henderson admitted to allowing farm effluent to pollute the 3km stretch of brook between May 7 and May 10 in breach of the Water Resources Act 1991. The court was told the pig effluent had a detrimental impact on the water quality of the brook and samples showed that ammonia levels were 4,000 times greater than the limits normally imposed on discharges to watercourses. Therefore, the high levels of ammonia and low oxygen in the water had the potential to kill fish and invertebrates, but fortunately this was not witnessed. The pollution was reported by a member of the public and nearby residents who suffered brown, stinking water flowing through their gardens for several days. Clare Richards, investigating officer, said: "Anyone spreading waste on land must make regular checks while this is being done to reduce the risk of escape which can be devastating to the aquatic environment." Butler-Henderson has had the stream cleaned up by a tanker company and the pipe carrying the effluent which appeared to be patched in, has now been replaced by a tamper-proof alkathene system. In a letter to the Environment Agency, Butler-Henderson claimed that the incident was either an accident or the act of a third party.

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