Loughinisland anglers’ sewage issue concerns

Loughinisland anglers’ sewage issue concerns

8 May 2024

NORTHERN Ireland Water officials met recently with local anglers to discuss their concerns around Loughinisland lake and the impact of a sewage treatment plant on it.

The meeting between area management officials from the regulated company and representatives from the Downpatrick and District Anglers 

Association was organised by South Down MLA Colin McGrath.

He said that after meeting with anglers over the past number of months to address deficiencies at the picturesque lake, he was delighted to host the meeting so they could discuss their concerns and identify solutions.

Describing the location of the waterway as “exceptional, with stunning views and a terrific stock of brown and rainbow trout”, Mr McGrath said this did not happen overnight, paying tribute to the work of local anglers.

“There has been concern about a wastewater treatment works and the impact this is having on the lake. Therefore, it was important to bring the statutory agency and the community together to discuss their concerns and look to resolve them,” said Mr McGrath.

“With over 30 anglers in attendance, NI Water officials were able to hear a range of concerns around the treated effluent which is finding its way into the lake.”

Mr McGrath said while the treatment works were upgraded in 2015, what he described as the “hangover from that time” is still being felt with solid materials appearing in the lake from time to time. 

“It is evident there is an ongoing issue between NI Water which is responsible for the works and the Environment Agency responsible for setting the policy on standards and levels of effluent,” he continued.

“Work now needs to take place with the Environment Agency and I’m commencing these representations and will bring this to the attention of Stormont DAERA minister Andrew Muir if required.”

Mr McGrath said the Downpatrick and District Anglers Association has has done tremendous work in the community over many decades and it’s essential the government is seen to be working for them and he will endeavour to ensure this happens.