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Cloughy Sewage Pumping Station Pollution Incident

12 December 2011 15:57

NI Water has pleaded guilty to causing a pollution incident from Cloughy Sewage Pumping Station (SPS) on 27th September 2009. The incident was linked to a blockage that caused one pump to trip and the other to malfunction.

A spokesperson for NI Water explained, “NI Water acted quickly to stop the discharges and reset the pumps. Ongoing investigations have uncovered the likely cause of the blockage to be an unconsented discharge of agricultural effluent into the sewer.

“Investigations also highlighted an error with the alarm used to monitor the station. Since the incident, NI Water has enhanced the alarm system at the site so a critical alarm will be raised sooner if an incident such as this occurs again.

“NI Water would appeal for help from the public and local farmers to help reduce these occurrences by not placing inappropriate items or unauthorised discharges in the toilet, down a drain or into the sewers.

“Inappropriate items include cotton buds, nappies, sanitary items and trade effluent which regularly make their way through the sewerage system and cause serious blockages, leading to the operation of emergency overflows. This can cause harm to property, wildlife and the environment.”

NI Water was fined £1,200 plus £25 costs and co-operated fully with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency throughout the process.

NI Water views the protection of the environment as a major priority and invests significant resources and measures to safeguard it. NI Water is the only public body in Northern Ireland to have earned International ISO 14001 status, an international standardisation awarded on the basis of a company’s environmental management system.

NI Water has invested nearly £500 million over the last three years to bring the sewerage network system and wastewater treatment works up to an acceptable standard. With ongoing investment, we will continue to improve wastewater services for the people of Northern Ireland.

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