Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Muir details plan to plug Kinnegar sewage pollution problem

I have been reassured by NI Water that plans to plug the sewage pollution problem in Holywood are on track.

After extensive lobbying I was delighted to achieve a commitment last year from NI Water to spend up to £3m to tackle the on-going sewage pollution problem occurring in the Kinnegar lagoons, Holywood after previously spending £100k to identify the source of the problem.

I have continued to lobby NI Water officials and with the malodour especially bad during the Summer months recently convened a meeting with Senior NI Water officials to urge action.
During the meeting I was provided with a detailed briefing concerning preparatory work undertaken. Bore holes have been dug and surveys undertaken to establish how the solution will be implemented. The new set-up will involve sewage no longer being pumped into the scenic Kinnegar lagoons which often causes terrible smells. Routes and sites for new pipes and equipment are being sought and it is still hoped that upgrades will be in place during 2012 as planned. Plans on how to repair the polluted reed beds once the solution is implemented are also being explored.

Whilst I am disappointed that this problem has existed for far too long and continues to affect local people living, working and travelling nearby I am glad that NI Water seem to be taking the problem seriously at last. The general environment and wildlife in the area have suffered significantly as result of the pollution which has previously been flagged up as a ‘chronic problem’ by the NI Environment Agency who have identified pollution incidents on numerous occasions since 2008.

People across Holywood should no longer have to put up with this pollution. I will therefore continue to monitor progress and lobby senior officials until the Kinnegar sewage pollution problem is plugged.

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