Muir encourages public to report Kinnegar sewage pollution pong

Cllr Muir at Kinnegar Lagoons attached          
I am continuing my campaign to end the sewage pollution problem in Holywood after recently meeting NI Water officials to discuss lack of progress to end the awful smell endured by many for several years.

I am also calling upon residents to report when the smell is particularly bad in order to establish areas affected and if problem relates to tidal times, heavy rainfall or the nearby waste water treatment plant.

I have been campaigning on this issue since becoming a Councillor over two years ago and am determined to see the issue resolved. After securing over £3m funding to fix the problem I have now been assured by NI Water that work has taken place to investigate exact cause and potential solutions.

Construction work is due to commence next year in two phases. Phase One will involve a new set-up to stop further pollution of the Kinnegar lagoons which are now heavily polluted with raw sewage. Phase Two will involve necessary remedial work to clean up the lagoons.

During my meeting I reiterated my profound disappointment that the problem remains unresolved outlining the high degree of interest shown by many including Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment. Holywood residents, workers and visitors shouldn't have to endure this smell any longer. Our environment should be protected and enhanced not destroyed and abused.

Whilst samples have been taken to ascertain source of the terrible smell NI Water remain unsure of the exact cause and if external factors are causing the problem such as tidal times, heavy rainfall or the nearby waste water treatment plant. I would therefore encourage local residents to report to me when they experience particularly bad sewage smells. Residents should email mail@andrewmuir.net when the smell is especially bad detailing time and date and location. Information gathered will then be passed onto NI Water in early 2013 to facilitate final design of the solution urgently required and sought by many.

Written Answer AQW 16399/11-15
NI Water Sewage Pollution Alleviation Scheme at Kinnegar Lagoons, Holywood

To ask the Minister for Regional Development what progress has been made on the NI Water sewage pollution alleviation scheme at Kinnegar Lagoons, Holywood, including a timescale for commencement and completion.

I have been advised by Northern Ireland Water (NIW) that the £3.5 million project to resolve the sewage pollution at Kinnegar Lagoons, Holywood is on target to be delivered within its PC13 Business Plan which covers the period April 2013 to March 2015. Subject to the usual statutory approvals and budgetary constraints, NIW may be able to commence the project early within the next financial year with a construction period of approximately twelve months.

While this project will prevent further pollution to the Lagoons, a second phase will consider the remediation options for the Lagoons and particularly the odours emanating from the mud at low-tide. NIW has commenced work on this second phase and it is progressing well with several environmental studies and mud samplings completed this year. Further water sampling and flood analysis is also planned and the emerging findings will be known in the Spring of 2013 along with any financial and timing implications which will be largely dependent on the recommended remediation option.