Farmer fined for dumping Septic tank Sludge
A SCOTTISH farmer has been fined £2,500 for illegally dumping Septic tank sludge containing sanitary products and other wet waste in a field used for growing animal feed.
Officers from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) discovered untreated slurry spread across Walter Watson’s farm at North Park, Lonmay, Fraserburgh last year.
Yesterday the farmer failed to clear up the wet waste despite being given an opportunity by SEPA, pled guilty at Peterhead Sheriff Court for disposing of untreated sewage tank sludge without a waste management licence.
The farmer is also director of a well know Drainage & Plumbing company that is licensed to treat septic tank sludge.
However slurry can only be spread on agricultural fields in certain circumstances only if it has been properly screened and treated and safe for the environment.
Disposing unscreened sludge from a septic tank is forbidden due to the potential harm it can do to the environment.
The SEPA’s investigating officer, said: “Mr Watson made no attempt to screen the considerable quantity of sewage-related litter from the septic tank sludge before spreading it on agricultural land. This type of activity is completely unacceptable and undermines the commitment of similar businesses which operate in an environmentally responsible way……Sewage litter waste can be a significant hazard to wildlife, livestock and human health. Mr Watson failed to take these risks into consideration and his prosecution should serve as a strong reminder that practices which do not meet environmental legislation will be punished accordingly.”
Craig Harris, head of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service Wildlife and Environmental Unit added: “This conduct showed an utter disregard for the environment. Sanitary products, plastics and rag materials were spread across a field which is used to grown animal feed and which is adjacent to water which runs into a national nature reserve. Such conduct is a clear breach of the criminal law and is repugnant to all law abiding farmers.”
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