Raw sewage pumping into the river Erne

RAW SEWAGE is being pumped into the River Erne regularly, the Herald can reveal, and millions in investment is needed urgently to stop the stinky problem.
In fact, despite the fact there has been a massive drive in recent times to develop Enniskillen’s water based economy, locals have been advised not to enter the water outside designated bathing areas, and not to enter the water around the island town at all for two days after heavy rainfall.
Many locals may have noticed a stink in parts of the county town after heavy rain and, as the Herald has reported in recent weeks, an algae bloom has developed on some parts of the river.
It is believed both stem from the overflow issues at numerous points in the town, which Cllr Donal O’Cofaigh has been repeatedly raising with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and NI Water in recent times.
The Department has also confirmed to the Herald that sewage is being released into the water after heavy rain, in the event of mechanical failure, and when pipes become blocked due to people flushing ‘unflushables’ such as baby wipes or sanitary products.
Cllr O’Cofaigh has now called on the Council to consider legal action to “force the hand” of NI Water, which is responsible for the sewerage system, in addressing the problem.
“For raw sewage to be regularly overflowing into the River Erne in 2021 is a disgrace and reflects decades of under-investment in our basic water infrastructure,” he said. “NI Water admits that Enniskillen electoral area has twelve sites at which sewers overflow after heavy rains and yet there is a total failure on the part of Stormont to upgrade these quickly.”

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