Northern Ireland Water Ltd (NIWL) has been fined Pound 3,000 today plus Pound 15 Offenders Levy after pleading guilty to making a discharge of sewage effluent into Dundrum Inner Bay.
Downpatrick court was told that on 14 April 2021, a Senior Water Quality Inspector (SWQI) and Water Quality Inspector (WQI), acting on behalf of Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), responded to a report of untreated sewage discharging into Dundrum Inner Bay. The report, made by the Departments Emergency Pollution Officer, indicated that the Dundrum Main Street Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Number 3 was the source of the discharge and that this was occurring in dry weather. Upon arrival, the Inspectors observed a significant flow of untreated sewage discharging from the CSO outlet and a substantial amount of sewage related debris was observed on the beach below the CSO outfall.
In accordance with procedures, the Inspector contacted the NIWL Telemetry Call Centre to report the incident. NIWL were asked to take urgent and appropriate measures to prevent any further discharge to Dundrum Inner Bay, due to the potential for impact on the shellfish beds in the receiving water.
Discharges from Main Street Number 3 Combined Sewer Overflow are into Dundrum Bay. Dundrum Bay is a Shellfish Water Protected Area. Shellfish water protected areas are designated for the protection of shellfish growth and production. Good water quality is important for the production of high quality shellfish. Dundrum Bay was also designated as a 'sensitive area' under the Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations (NI) 2007 on 1 August 2014.
Anyone wishing to report a pollution incident can call the 24 hour NIEA Incident Hotline on: 0800 80 70 60.