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Drinking water in Londonderry is safe, says Mark H Durkan

By Donna Deeney

Published 05/02/2016

Reassurances: Mark H Durkan
Reassurances: Mark H Durkan

The Environment Minister has insisted that Londonderry's drinking water is safe after fears were raised over contaminated leachate entering the city's supply.

Mark H Durkan yesterday visited a huge toxic lake at Campsie which formed out of the largest illegal waste dump in Europe, on the city outskirts.

The dump was uncovered in 2011 and since then the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) has removed a staggering 1.5 million litres of contaminated fluid, 4,786 tonnes of waste and 2,458 tyres - although a vast expanse remains.

In 2014, an NIEA expert expressed concern that putrefying waste, dead animals and old black bin waste could leach into the water supply.

The ministerial visit followed concerns raised by the Faughan Anglers that a trench flowing from the lake into the river - which supplies water to homes in Derry city - was contaminated.

Mr Durkan said: "Extensive monitoring has shown no evidence of any adverse impact on either the water quality of the drinking water supply to Derry or to the water quality of the River Faughan. I can assure the people of Derry that I'm doing all I can to ensure there is no threat to the quality of their drinking water.

"My department will continue to work closely with NI Water to ensure that all necessary safeguards continue to be in place."

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