Photograph shows Cllr Enright and local Environmentalist Jim Manley at the river that was grossly polluted near MacDonalds in Downpatrick.

Councillor Cadogan Enright has called for prosecutions for the pollution of a small river running through Downpatrick and behind the shopping Malls on the Ballyduggan road. He said, “There is enough evidence to prosecute now – we must stop the pollution of the Downpatrick Marshes and the Quoile River.”

The state of this river (called the “Plank Drain”) has been a campaigning issue for local residents and Environmentalists for 30 years. In July Cllr Enright and met with EHS/NIEA officials at the Plan Drain and pointed out that it needed to be tested. Cllr Cadogan Enright has since passed on information to the NIEA about the probable source of sewerage deposits going into the Plank Drain from 5 separate areas in Downpatrick.

Cllr Enright met with EHS officials on site and after looking over the obvious pollution of the water he formally requested additional water testing to be carried out to establish if any detergents such as chloride, PH, Ammonia, BOD and other suspended solids are found. Throughout this year it has been found to be full of harmful waste and sewage deposits. There were also strong, foul smelling fumes.

Cllr Enright said “We had to use a Freedom of Information request to get these results, which revealed some very worrying findings. I can now reveal that the area in question surrounding the sewage drain was grossly polluted. The tests showed BOD levels of 77ppm. An acceptable water test would set figures at 3-4 ppm, 10+ ppm would be considered polluted. So the fact that these results show BOD levels at extremely high levels of 77ppm is very worrying and confirms that there must have been sewage or other biological deposit from the plank drain,” said Cllr Enright.

Cadogan pointed out that “Local Environmentalists like Jim Manley and Bill Corry have been campaigning over sewage and other waste in the Plank Drain for 30 years going back to Jim Manley in the1970’s. These test results once again proves our concerns. The tests were carried out by the NIEA and we are calling for prosecutions. NI Rivers Agency manages the Plank Drain and what goes into it, and NI Water Service manages the local sewage works. Someone must be responsible. Pollution of waterways managed by our own government bodies is unacceptable.”

Green Party Cllr Cadogan Enright is calling on the NIEA to prosecute those responsible. Trevor Love of the Downpatrick Anglers and Doris Noe of Lecale Conservation have supported Cllr Enrights call for prosecutions.

“I am very concerned that these pollution results came before the recent Quoile Fish Kill and I believe that the flooding could have washed this pollution down into the Quoile which would have contributed or caused the Fish Kill. No fish died upriver of the Plank Drain. This adds to even more lack of confidence in the investigation carried out by the NIEA into the fish kill. It is no mystery as to where the sewage on the pitches in Dunleath Park came from last week – the time for prosecution is now.” Concluded Cllr Cadogan Enright.

For more details on the BOD levels visit this page.

Press Cuttings: Enright calls for action on Plank Drain pollution, Enright urges watchdog to act on town centre pollution.