Councillor
Peter J. Martin
transparency, accountability and effective representation

Bangor - Councillor Peter J. Martin

Beach water quality

Tuesday 7th August 2012

For the first time in years our beaches in North Down are finally reaching an acceptable standard of water quality1. For years, especially at Ballyholme, some of our beaches have been rated the lowest according to the Department of the Environments Northern Ireland Bathing Water Directive Compliance – nearly consistently receiving a poor outcome and in some cases dangerous. The main reason for this was Combined Sewage overflows [CSOs] – basically whenever it rained heavily the system could not cope and would discharge raw sewerage into the streams. Only in the last year has this begun to improve.

For the first time in years our beaches in North Down are finally reaching an acceptable standard of water quality1. For years, especially at Ballyholme, some of our beaches have been rated the lowest according to the Department of the Environments Northern Ireland Bathing Water Directive Compliance – nearly consistently receiving a poor outcome and in some cases dangerous. The main reason for this was Combined Sewage overflows [CSOs] – basically whenever it rained heavily the system could not cope and would discharge raw sewerage into the streams. Only in the last year has this begun to improve. 

The reason for this improvement has been due to the fact that over the last couple of years Northern Ireland water has begun to invest in the massively under capacity sewerage system we have in Ballyholme. I believe that Councillors have a crucial lobbying role to play with central government on such issues that are important to our constituents. 

Since being elected I have written several times to the DOE Minister, DRD Minister and recently have received another reply from the Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Water to confirm a further £10 million will be spent in the Bangor area to complete the Drain Area Plan [DAP] which will hopefully see further improvements. The first part of the upgrade will begin at Luke’s Point in 2013 and then over the next year will see further upgrades all over the Bangor area including improving water quality in the Carnalea, Rathmore and Clandeboye streams. These improvements will be warmly welcomed by the people of Bangor who care about our environment and the legacy we are leaving for our children. I intend to keep pressure on both Ministers to ensure that this investment is in fact carried out and over the next few years we should continue to see standards rise

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