Anglers urge vigilance after pollution incident on Three Mile Water

The pollutant entering the river. Picture courtesy of Three Mile Water Conservation and Angling Association INNT 39-800CON
The pollutant entering the river. Picture courtesy of Three Mile Water Conservation and Angling Association INNT 39-800CON

Local anglers have urged members of the public to be vigilant following a pollution incident on the Three Mile Water.

At approximately 6.30pm yesterday evening, (Tuesday, September 15) a member of the Three Mile Water Conservation and Angling Association noticed a substantial amount of a potential pollutant entering the river in Whiteabbey.

It is understood the suspected pollutant was coming from a sewage pumping station.

Northern Ireland Water and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency were alerted to the incident, and members from both agencies were soon at the site to conduct tests.

The tests have revealed that the incident was not as serious as first thought and that no damage has been caused to the river environment or its fish stocks.

This news has been welcomed by the Three Mile Water Conservation and Angling Association.

“We would like to thank NI Water and the Environment Agency for their quick response in dealing with the issue. NI Water have been in touch, and have assured us that the issue has been resolved, so we are happy with that,” Vice Chairman Andrew Moore said.

A spokesperson from the Department of the Environment confirmed that the fault at the pumping station has been fixed.

“NIEA staff received a call at 6.50pm yesterday (September 15), reporting suspected pollution coming from a sewage pumping station and discharging into the Three Mile Water at Newtownabbey. NIEA immediately alerted Northern Ireland Water (NIW) who arrived on site at 8pm. An NIEA inspector checked the area this morning and confirmed that NIW had fixed the fault which caused the discharge and that discharge had now stopped,” they said.

The Three Mile Water Conservation and Angling Association is encouraging members of the public to be vigilant, and to report any potential pollution incidents to the relevant agencies.

“We are glad that the public are keeping an eye on the river and reporting potential incidents, and we would encourage people to remain vigilant and to keep reporting anything that could be a pollution risk,” Andrew added.