Belfast Telegraph

NI Water vows to work to end flood problems

By Dave Whelan

A planned £3m investment being pumped into upgrading the watermains in south Belfast does not go far enough to address the concerns of residents according to a local councillor.

SDLP councillor, Claire Hanna was commenting after the announcement that NI Water would be rolling out a £10.2m package of work across Belfast, including £3m for laying 23km of watermain's infrastructure locally.

The work set to commence in November will focus on improving the quality, reliability and supply of drinking water but does not address the specific problems in the area's flooding hotspots.

"This isn't money specifically to target flooding hotspots in South Belfast," said Claire Hanna.

"While general maintenance and upgrade of the infrastructure is very welcome, and will contribute overall to improving drainage locally, the fact remains that we need NI Water to commit to further works, including an improved pumping station servicing Finaghy Road North.

"NI Water have been helpful in addressing some of the major flooding issues, notably Sicily Park, but the risks remain for residents until work is completed, and solutions haven't yet been agreed for persistent problems in other areas."

A NI Water spokesperson confirmed they were currently investing in both the watermains (£3m) and sewerage infrastructure in South Belfast.

''NI Water is currently undertaking a joint-agency appraisal study of Finaghy Road North/Orchardville area with report due in spring 2014. This report will consider upgrading the existing pumping station along with a range of other options.

"NI Water's investment decisions will be informed by the report findings. NI Water will continue to give this investigation high priority and we understand the concerns raised by local residents.''

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