THE ENVIRONMENT Agency has successfully prosecuted a Glos farmer after almost 70 cubic metres leaked from his slurry pit into the river Severn.

William Harraway of Lodge Farm, Littleton-on-Severn was fined £1000 and ordered to pay costs of £1020 by Bristol magistrates after being found in breech of the Water Resources act 1991.

The EA was alerted on April 16 after a resident of Cowhill near Oldbury-on-Severn noticed the village stream had turned dark brown.

The EA traced the pollution to Mr Harraway‘s farm where inspection of his slurry pit revealed that it had been leaking into a land drain underneath the pit from the previous evening.

The slurry then escaped via a second land drain and into a stream, the Cowhill Rhyne.

In his defence Mr Harraway blamed contractors for accidentally dislodging a temporary bung from the land drain while removing solid waste from the slurry pit.

EA tests of the river Severn revealed pollution was visible 3.7km downstream at Littleton Wharf where the tributary joins the river Severn.

Sara Galpin of the EA said: “Farmers must regularly check slurry handling and storage facilities and ensure they no not pose a pollution risk to nearby watercourses.

“It is especially important that farmers alert the EA as soon as a pollution incident occurs.”