Pictured are councillor Cadogan Enright with Pat Ward and John Hardy in Newcasle

Cllr. Cadogan Enright has questioned the practicality of the planned £2million dilute sewerage storage tank in Newcastle’s Castle Park.

Speaking at the site of the proposed installation he said, “While I recognise the need for a solution to the poor sewerage infrastructure in Newcastle, it does not seem to be the most practical solution to place a giant sewerage tank under the boating pond”.

“The real solution to this problem is to use the £2.5million budget in the Newcastle Drainage Area Plan to separate the flood water and sewerage systems in Newcastle. In the meantime, to prevent the system from overloading, we must stop any further large development in the Newcastle area.”

“The failures in bathing water standards have been found to be caused by storm overflows from the Newcastle sewer system during wet weather. This has led to serious environmental pollution on the beach and in the rivers. Not only does this affect the local people and their health, but it also has a detrimental effect on the tourism on which Newcastle relies.”

Cllr Cadogan Enright believes that the Water Service is trying to solve the problem of sewerage by creating a bigger problem of a tank, which would create more difficulties. “Although this tank is being sold to us as a temporary solution to allow for the upgrading of the sewerage system, it could end up becoming the only solution if further funding is not available. We could get a short-term solution which becomes a long-term nightmare.”

The location of the tank was also worrying for the  Councillor, as its installation will require the boating pond to be drained, the tank installed and the river allowed to flow over it again. Meanwhile, discharges further upstream from the treatment works at Castlewellan will continue to flow into the river.

Cllr Enright said, “Not only will the draining of the pond have an effect on marine life, but once it is complete it will sit at a point where three large rivers meet and this will ultimately result in sewerage spill in the centre of town.”

The Councillor explained that the tank was being proposed because Newcastle’s sewerage and flood water systems are combined and so during heavy rain the system overflows and pollutes rivers and the sea. This tank is supposed to hold the dilute sewerage until the Treatment Works at the harbour is ready to process it.

“There are no guarantees that the tank will work properly or that it will remain unbreached during heavy storms, which is ridiculous given the proposed site of the tank at the mouth of three rivers. Our tourists could be boating over three layers of sewerage.”

Press Cuttings: Newcastle Sewage Problems