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Help Protect Water Quality in the River Derg area

16 December 2022 13:30

River Derg  | NI Water News

NI Water is appealing to the public in the River Derg catchment area to help protect our water supply in light of recent ammonia spikes. These spikes result in us having to shut down water production at the treatment works, to protect our drinking water quality, and pose a significant risk for loss of the public water supply in the West Tyrone area.

Roy Taylor, NI Water Catchment manager explains: “In recent weeks, there have been concerning raised levels of ammonia, a source of which may be agricultural slurry, particularly in the River Derg, leading to shut downs of the local Water Treatment Works. During the closed season, farmers should ensure that slurry is well contained and there is no risk of it ending up in our watercourses through accidental leaks, spillages or overflows from slurry storage and effluent tanks. This can lead to the Water Treatment Works having to be shut down to protect drinking water quality for our customers. This loss of water production then results in reduced water storage in reservoirs, posing a significant risk to the public water supply to our customers in the area.

“We want to protect the local water supply at all costs, particularly in light of the current winter weather and thaw conditions forecasted for early next week. Removing nutrients from our water is also difficult and expensive but is essential to provide the high quality drinking water we all expect.”

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) is currently investigating increased pollution and have on-the-ground resources in areas of concern like the Derg catchment, to understand the sources of ammonia nutrients in our drinking water catchments. The public are encouraged to report any suspected pollution to the NIEA Water Pollution Hotline on 0800 8070 60, which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

For further advice on protecting your water supply in the forecasted winter thaw click here:


For further information, please contact NI Water press office by emailing:

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