Thursday 27 October 2016

Detergent firm must pay €34,000 after leak killed Tolka fish

Tolka pollution
Tolka pollution
Dead fish in the Tolka River at Griffith Park on Dublin's northside. Photo: Collins
Dead fish in the Tolka

A HYGIENE company in Cabra has been fined for a pollution spill that killed 5,000 fish in the Tolka river in July last year.

Alma Hygiene Ltd was fined €250 and ordered to pay legal costs of more than €34,000 after admitting that concentrated detergent leaked into the river from its Bannow Road site on July 22 and 23.

The company has been manufacturing disinfectants and detergents in Dublin for more than 25 years.


The case was heard in Dublin District Court in a prosecution taken by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

The court heard the detergent leaked into a storm drain at Finglas Road Bridge and more than 5,000 fish, including brown trout and sea trout, died on a 4.5km stretch of the river.

Among the legal costs and expenses of more than €34,000 it has to pay to IFI and Dublin City Council, is almost €8,000 towards measures to clear the river of the dead fish and restore water quality.

Legal representatives for Alma Hygiene said the spillage was the result of human error.

IFI said the company co-operated fully and quickly and worked to clean up the spillage and prevent further discharge.

Alma Hygiene told the court it had made contact with Dublin City Council on the morning of July 23 as a result of a media appeal for information about a pollution incident the previous day by Brian Beckett, the director of IFI.

Noel McGloin of the IFI said the discharge from the storm drain to the Tolka was characterised by seriously elevated levels of surfactants (detergents).

He said that on the morning of July 23 he visited the Alma Hygiene premises along with staff from Dublin City Council.

Staff from the company immediately completed the clean-up and prevented all remaining effluent residues from entering the river.

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