Raw sewage flowing into Six Mile Water in Ballyclare

Contaminated water flowing into the Six Mile Water. Picture courtesy of Ballynure Angling Club. INNT 12-800CON
Contaminated water flowing into the Six Mile Water. Picture courtesy of Ballynure Angling Club. INNT 12-800CON

The Department of the Environment has confirmed that raw sewage has been flowing into the Six Mile Water in Ballyclare for several days.

The problem was reported by local anglers earlier this week after they noticed sewage flowing into the river at the rear of the Sixmile Leisure Centre.

Chairman of the Six Mile Water Trust, Jim Gregg, said: “Incidents like this have been ongoing in the Sixmile for a number of years and it is only a matter of time before there is another fish kill. There are tissues and waste currently flowing into the river at the site and unfortunately this will end up getting attached to trees on the banks of the river or making its way to Lough Neagh - the water supply for Ballyclare and surrounding towns. It is too early to say what exactly has caused the latest incident, but it needs to be nipped in the bud.”

A spokesperson for the DOE stressed that NI Water is taking action to resolve the problem.

“A call was received via the NIEA Emergency Pollution Hotline on the afternoon of Monday, March 14, concerning the presence of sewage in the Six Mile Water at Ballyclare. An inspector attended the reported incident that afternoon.

“The presence of sewage was confirmed and the inspector alerted Northern Ireland Water who have tasked a contractor to clear a blockage,” the spokesperson said.