A North Down councillor has expressed concern after raw sewage was released into Belfast Lough last week.
The sewage, which was evident along the North Down coast at Helen’s Bay and Crawfordsburn, was spotted by Councillor Andrew Muir as he was out jogging along the coastal path between Carnalea Golf Club and Rathmore Road on Monday, August 16.
“When I was running along the path, large pools of sewage were evident in the sea near Helen’s Bay and Crawfordsburn beaches,” he said.
“When I passed through Kerr’s Wood between Carnalea Golf Club and Rathmore Road a strong smell of sewage was also evident |from the local stream. Engineers were quickly dispatched and attempted to resolve the problem, working late into the night.
“I have since spoken to a senior official at NI Water and it appears that the sewage systems were overwhelmed as a result of the heavy rainfall experienced on Monday night. Raw sewage was therefore released directly into the stream and Belfast Lough.”
A spokeswoman for NI Water said it was in the process of completing the Bangor Drainage Area Study (DAS), which has identified key assets for upgrading the sewers within the Bangor sewerage catchment area.
“The Bangor Drainage Area Study has identified a number of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO) within the Bangor area that must be improved to meet the required standards set by Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA),” the spokeswoman said.
“One of these CSO's is located beside Carnalea Golf Club. Subject to budgetary approval, Bangor DAP is currently in the Capital Works Programme for delivery in Price Control Period 10 that runs from April 2010 to March 2013.
“NI Water would welcome a meeting with Councillor Andrew Muir or other interested parties, to discuss future plans for upgrading the sewerage network in Bangor.”
Councillor Muir said that while he accepted that NI Water are |currently undertaking a survey to |determine the work required, “it is |unacceptable that North Down should continue to experience such pollution incidents in 2010”.