Curran Concerned Over Ardglass Sewage Failures

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“NI Water would like to remind customers if you do spot a problem in your area, please report any issues to Waterline on 08457 440088  so we can fix the problem as soon as possible. We would also appeal to the general public to help us prevent such incidents occurring by only flushing toilet paper.  The advice is simple – Bag it and Bin it, don’t flush it. [caption id="attachment_19253" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Sewage is swept back into the harbour as the tide recedes in Ardglass."][/caption] “Further information on NI Water’s ‘Bag it and Bin it’ campaign can be found on our website, www.niwater.com, where a leaflet is available for download. NI Water would like to thank customers for their patience whilst we carry out this repair work.” [caption id="attachment_11305" align="alignright" width="100" caption="Councillor Dermot Curran is deeply concerned the sewage system in Ardglass. "][/caption] However, SDLP  Down District Councillor Dermot Curran expressed his frustration at facing another sewage problem in the village. He said, “We have in the past experienced some very difficult problems with sewage in Ardglass and a number of years ago new pumping stations were build at the Harbour and at the Dock beside Batth Street. Despite this, we still have issues of sewage bubbling into people’s homes through their toilets. It is just unacceptable. “Around £7 million was supposed to be set aside I understand for improvements to the sewage system and I know there was an issue over access on a piece of land. But this should not take years. The land required beside Ardtole where a new pumping station was planned could have been simply vested by the DOE. NI Water is breaking EU rules and raw sewage is still being discharged into the Irish Sea. “This new development was supposed to be a state-of-the-art pumping station to meet current and future needs. Now it is all very well behind schedule. Two fish factories in Ardglass were compelled last year by the DOE to put filters on their effluent discharge which did benefit sewage flow, and this cost them hundreds of thousands of pounds. But we still have problems. The system is past its sell-by date. “I will be bringing a notice to Down District Council about this matter and will be seeking a meeting with the Minister to have it rectified. The bottom line is that if the Department does nothing, I will. I will raise the issue with the EU. NI water could be charged £250,000 a day in penalties until it rectifies the problem. Therefore, it would be better being proactive and sorting this out once and for all. [caption id="attachment_19257" align="alignright" width="300" caption="A sewer runs into Ardglass beach at Seaview."][/caption] “Ardglass will see development soon with new homes on the Green Road development, and there is more building ongoing at Crew Hill where sewage problems already exist. On the Strangford Road and Ardtole there are clear problems that need to be addressed quickly. A year ago I witnessed on a number of ocassions the damage that back-flowing sewage can do to people’s homes. “I will be asking the minister if this money is ringfenced? Because if it is not, and no work progresses on this, then it leaves only one course of action…a complaint to the EU.” “I am concerned that Ardglass, as a fishing village, a food centre, is compromised. As such it is important that hygiene around the harbour is acceptable and up to food safety standards. We don’t want any outbreaks of diseases which could devastate our local fishing industry. We need to get this right and we need to get it sorted,” he said.]]>

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