Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Sewage pollution incident update

Readers may recall that a few weeks ago I exposed a sewage pollution incident which occurred on Monday 16 August 2010 in the Carnalea area plus Crawfordsburn and Helen's Bay beaches.

More details about my initial report can be found at 
http://www.andrewmuir.net/2010/08/muir-condemns-sewage-pollution-incident.html

I have now received 
a full report concerning the incident  from NI Water, detailed below;
During the heavy rain on the 16th August 2010, the combined sewer overflows (CSO’s) in the area discharged storm sewerage into the applicable receiving waters. The CSO adjacent to Carnalea Golf Club was one of those which discharged into the unnamed stream , which then flows into Belfast Lough. NIW attended this location after your call, but were unable to carry out any work as it had become too dark. The next day, NIW instructed their Contractor to carry out a clean up of the area. This was carried out that day.
I understand that Mark Consiglia provided you with a verbal update on the 17th. Mark checked the CSO and confirmed that it had stopped spilling once the rain event had passed and it was Mark who arranged the clean up.
CSO’s are designed to spill excess flows during rain fall events, to relieve the sewers when running full so as to minimise the risk of flooding to properties etc. The provision of CSO’s on sewerage systems is an industry wide practice. In this instance, the discharge from the CSO is consented by Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
However, NIW are committed to improving their sewerage systems. This includes looking at the environmental impact of such discharges and Northern Ireland Water is in the process of completing the Bangor Drainage Area Study (DAS), which has identified key assets for upgrading of the sewerage system within the Bangor catchment. This Study has identified a number of CSO’s and sewers within the Bangor area that must be improved to meet more stringent standards set by Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) than were previously in force. One of these is the CSO located beside Carnalea Golf Club.
Subject to budgetary approval, the Bangor Drainage Area Plan (DAP) is currently in the Capital Works Programme for delivery in Price Control Period 10 that runs from April 2010 to March 2013.


I will continue to lobby NI Water to ensure the necessary investment is made to avoid incidents such as those outlined above.

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