Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

NI Water slammed over sewage

Residents in the Orchardville area have slammed NI Water over its response to sewage overspill after recent flooding in the area.

People living in Orchardville Crescent said that raw sewage has come up into their gardens three times in the last two weeks.

Resident John Smyth said the problem has been happening for years but is getting progressively worse.

Mr Smyth said contractors working there believe the overspill to caused by a blocked-up pipe.

“It happens with any kind of rain, not just floods. I don’t just mean dirty water, it’s raw sewage,” he said.

“It’s coming into numerous houses — it’s absolutely disgraceful that in this day and age, with health and safety and with kids running around that this is allowed to happen.”

Mr Smyth said residents were frustrated with NI Water’s response on the issue. “We are left to clean up. Nobody has any help in the aftermath.”

Balmoral representative Vincent Parker said: “Residents have informed me that this overflow, which occurs on a regular basis, results in the back gardens of a number of properties in the street being covered in sewage. Not only is this highly unpleasant for the residents but it also represents an obvious health risk, especially for families with young children.

“While NI Water reacted quickly when I initially contacted them, and have offered short-term respite during recent occasions when there has been an overspill, the reality is that this is an ongoing problem which needs a permanent solution.

He added: “I have asked water service for a formal site assessment and have requested that a meeting with a representative of NI Water and local residents. This problem clearly poses a health risk and I would urge the Water Service to tackle this issue as a matter of urgency.

An NI Water spokesperson said: “NI Water has been dealing with a number of incidents of overflow and flooding in south and west Belfast, including the Orchardville area, over the past number of weeks. This is due to adverse weather conditions.

“NI Water employees and contractors have working tirelessly to respond to these incidents and have been liaising with public bodies and local representatives as necessary.

“NI Water is carrying out a Drainage Area Study in the area which will include looking at the sewage infrastructure in Orchardville Avenue / Crescent."

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