Loughs Agency identifies source of slurry spill into Co Tyrone river

Clean up operation underway
Marie Louise McConville

THE Loughs Agency said yesterday that it had located the source of a slurry spill into a Co Tyrone river and has confirmed the discharge "has now been stopped".

The agency said around 15 miles of water had been affected when a concrete store ruptured, pouring more than 100,000 gallons of slurry into a waterway which leads to the Owenreagh River near Dromore.

The Drumragh River, which the Owenreagh runs into, is an important salmon and trout spawning ground.

The Loughs Agency is investigating, supported by the Environment Agency.

The incident was reported on Wednesday and it is believed some dead fish have been found.

The Agency said yesterday that staff had "located the source and the discharge has now been stopped".

A spokeswoman said: "Loughs Agency have deployed aeration equipment in order to re-oxygenate water.

"Where the Camowen River meets the Drumragh, near Omagh, the additional river water has diluted the effect of the pollution. Statutory samples have been taken and dispatched for analysis."

She added: "The Agency has unfortunately found evidence that the pollution has impacted the fish stocks and has advised that dead fish may be washed downstream. Fishery Officers will be assessing the number of fish effected by the pollution and the total number is not yet known.

"The Agency continues to manage the pollution incident and is grateful for the support of local angling clubs, Ulster Angling Federation and FASTA. Northern Ireland Environment Agency are also working in partnership with the Agency."

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