Commenting on the issue, Cllr Muir remarked: “When I was running along the Coastal Path large pools of sewage were evident in the sea near Helen’s Bay and Crawfordsburn beaches. When I passed through Kerr’s Wood between Carnalea Golf Club and Rathmore Road a strong smell of sewage was also evident from the local stream.
“As soon as I got home I contacted NI Water and alerted them to the pollution incident. Engineers were quickly dispatched and attempted to resolve the problem, working late into the night. I have since spoken to a senior official at NI Water and it appears that the sewage systems were overwhelmed as a result of the heavy rainfall experienced on Monday night. Raw sewage was therefore released directly into the stream and Belfast Lough.
“The entire incident reminded me of the bad old days when North Down was plagued with similar problems on an ongoing basis before the new sewage treatment plant at Donaghadee opened. Whilst I accept that NI Water are currently undertaking a survey to determine work required to ensure raw sewage doesn’t overflow into streams during periods of heavy rainfall it is unacceptable that North Down should continue to experience such pollution incidents in 2010. People living in North Down should be able to enjoy a clean, green environment all year round, including when it rains heavily.”
Concluding, Cllr Muir stated: “I am informed by NI Water that teams have been dispatched to clean up the mess as a result of Monday night’s incident. If anyone is aware of areas that need cleaned up please contact NI Water (08457 440088) or myself (07813 945411). I have written to NI Water requesting a full written update concerning Monday night’s events, asking what immediate action will be taken to alleviate the problem as the summer ends and rainfall increases. More details concerning the matter will be published on my blog at www.andrewmuir.net in due course.”