Investigation after oil spillage at Six Mile in Ballyclare

The site of the latest pollution incident at Six Mile Water River  in Ballyclare.
The site of the latest pollution incident at Six Mile Water River in Ballyclare.

An investigation is underway into an oil spillage at the Six Mile Water River in Ballyclare following reports to a water pollution hotline.

A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, indicated that the incident had been brought to DAERA’s attention on Monday evening at 5.40 pm.

He stated: “On Monday 11 February 2019, Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) received the first of a number of reports, via the Water Pollution Hotline, of a potential oil spillage impacting the Sixmilewater River at Ballyclare, County Antrim.

“Upon receipt of the report, Northern Ireland Environment Agency staff were immediately deployed to the area to confirm the report and assess the environmental impact.

“The oil pollution was confirmed as discharging via a culverted stream to the Sixmilewater River and the source was identified.

“NIEA immediately installed measures to contain and remove as much of the spilled oil from the culverted stream as possible.

“Whilst an unknown quantity of oil had already discharged to the river, a significant amount of oil was contained and removed by the NIEA staff on site.

“Statutory samples of the discharge were taken with a view to the initiation of prosecution proceedings through Public Prosecutions Service.

The investigation remains ongoing and NIEA are, therefore, unable to provide further details at this stage. One additional line of enquiry NIEA are following, is to determine if there is a connection between last night’s spillage and a similar incident that occurred on 14 January 2019.”

A water quality inspector visited the site of the pollution incident at a culvert close to the to Ballyclare’s Sixmile Leisure Centre.

Jim Gregg, chair of Six Mile Water Trust, has called on members of the public to report similar incidents.

The Water Pollution Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.