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Low River Lagan brings pong and eyesores to Belfast

By David Young

Low water levels in the Lagan yesterday brought a foul-smelling stench to the riverside.

The ranks of smart apartments and offices that line Belfast's river were treated to the unaccustomed sight of an expanse of grey mud flats just outside their windows.

Before the opening of the £14m Lagan Weir in 1994, the penetrating pong of the Lagan at low tide was a regular - if unwelcome - feature of daily life on the city's industrial riverbanks.

As the water level fell yesterday, all the old favourites were slowly revealed - the rusting remains of bicycles, prams and bedsteads, and traffic cones - all embedded and encrusted in deep, thick, grey-green ooze.

There was still no official explanation available last night for the dramatic lowering of the river's water level.

Earlier this week the Department for Communities had issued a social media warning that the Lagan would be lowered and unsafe for navigation between the Lagan and Stranmillis Weirs - but no reason was given.

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