Cllr Muir has welcomed news that a report on the cause of the pollution will soon be ready. Speaking in relation to this development, Cllr Muir stated: “I have been informed that an interim report is ready but further exploratory work is being undertaken and a final report will be completed in January 2011. A possible solution has been found which may need extensive engineering work, but until the final report is ready the exact picture is unclear.”
The Alliance Councillor has been campaigning for an end to the sewage smell since early 2010 after he used environmental legislation to discover that over 70 odour emission incidents occurred in 2009. Cllr Muir also recently uncovered a pollution problem described as ‘chronic’ with raw sewage discharged into the Kinnegar Lagoons in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The Kinnegar Lagoons contain scenic reed beds and are home to a wide array of wildlife.
Cllr Muir stated: “Earlier this year I decided that action had to be taken in relation to the sewage smell at Kinnegar. I was fed up with the foul smell which has been in the air for years.
“I therefore used environmental legislation to discover the true extent of the problem and was shocked to discover that over 70 odour emission incidents occurred throughout 2009. I pressurised NI Water and was delighted when this paid off and NI Water started investing approximately £100,000 to discover the cause of the problem by conducting extensive surveys across the Holywood area.
“I was, however, concerned about the impact on the local environment and carried out further enquiries which revealed numerous pollution incidents in the area. With many types of wildlife living in the polluted area and employees of local companies now informing me they often feel sick as a result of the smell, the time for action is now. People living, working or travelling nearby should not have put up with the stench and the pollution. Neither should the many species of wildlife.”
“I have been assured by NI Water that they are ‘progressing this issue as a matter of urgency’. I have arranged a meeting after Christmas to review the final report and discuss next steps. I will continue to put pressure on NI Water until this problem is sorted.”