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'Technical problems' prevent NI Water flushing out Holywood stench

By Linda Stewart

Published 24/05/2016

Alliance councillor Andrew Muir is awaiting a solution to the sewage stench problem at Kinnegar Lagoons
Alliance councillor Andrew Muir is awaiting a solution to the sewage stench problem at Kinnegar Lagoons

Holywood residents potentially face another summer of stench after Northern Ireland Water admitted it cannot complete a £4.5million scheme at Kinnegar Lagoons within deadline.

The smell from the sewage works on Belfast Lough has been so bad in the past that nearby workers have been sent home after complaining of feeling sick.

NI Water had promised to complete its £4.5m upgrade by this summer but has now admitted the third and final phase has encountered significant technical difficulties and is unlikely to be completed on time.

Parts of the final phase will not be completed until summer 2017 although the main construction is expected to start this summer, NI Water admitted.

Alliance councillor Andrew Muir has called on the public body to fulfil its commitments to end the pollution problems at Kinnegar Lagoons.

“The latest update from NI Water is encouraging, but it is disappointing for all involved that the work will fall short at the final hurdle,” he said.

 “After relentless lobbying since 2010, I was delighted to see construction work finally get underway and with a completion date already established. 

“This gave great hope to many people across Holywood who have had to endure awful odours over the years as a result of the pollution problems at Kinnegar Lagoons."


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 “While it is great to hear work has been completed to address two out of the three overflows considered to be at the source of the problem, the third phase includes tunnelling under the A2 Bangor to Belfast Road and NI Water must overcome any difficulties, allowing them to complete the overall project.

“This work won’t only address the odour problems for residents, but will significantly boost the local environment, improving it for future generations.

 “That’s why, unlike others, we can’t claim victory just yet and I’ll be ensuring pressure remains on NI Water to deliver what was promised,” councillor Muir said.

NI Water said the Kinnegar infrastructure upgrade involves three sections of tunnelled sewer, two of which have now been completed.

"The third section, under the A2 dual carriageway to Strathearn Court, has encountered significant technical difficulties, which, despite best efforts, have proven impracticable to resolve," a spokesperson said.

"NI Water has commenced investigating alternative options to complete this element of the overall project, with construction anticipated to commence later this year.

"The work will be planned in close cooperation with Transport NI in order to mitigate traffic disruption, with the construction of some elements restricted to summer 2017.

"The main project remains on track to become operational this summer, addressing two out of the three overflows considered to be a contributing factor to odour problems in the area, and providing environmental benefits.

"NI Water would like to apologise for the inconvenience and thank the public for their patience and co-operation while this essential work is completed."

Customer queries should be directed to Waterline on 03457 440088.

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