Concern has been raised at raw sewage which has been bubbling up through manholes at a Co Armagh park, campaigners have said.
A significant stretch of pathway at Craigavon City Park has been covered in the raw sewage close to an area earmarked for the new Southern Regional College and not far from the current new South Lakes Leisure Centre building.
Kelly Laverty of the group Save Craigavon City Park said: “If the system can’t cope at the minute with a bit of rain, how is it going to cope with the pressure if the Southern Regional College project is allowed to go ahead?
“There will be more than 3000 students plus staff adding to the sewage problem. We also have the new leisure centre and the waste water coming from it.
“This is human effluent and we have looked up the hazards. It presents a huge danger to humans and wildlife.
“We are walking, running and cycling through the run off from this leak. It is running into the lakes and some of us swim in that water. There are protected species on this site and the water from the lakes runs into Lough Neagh where we get our drinking water....
“We keep saying that the we do not have the infrastructure to deal with Council’s grand plans to redevelop the City Park into a “waterfront town centre” and nobody is listening. It’s time they did!
“ Northern Ireland Water published the fact that their water treatment facilities are already at capacity. The system can’t cope and we should not have to be subjected to this during a walk in the park!”
A council spokesperson said: “On Wednesday 7 November council identified and reported an issue with the sewage system in the vicinity of the south lake in Craigavon. This has been reported to Northern Ireland Water who are currently handling the matter.
An NI Water spokesperson said: “NI Water has been on-site at City Park Craigavon working to resolve an overflowing manhole blockage. NI Water crews and a contractor have carried out a jetting operation of the sewer which appeared to clear the blockage. A full clean-up of the area is ongoing.
“The initial cause of this blockage is inappropriate items and it is a timely reminder of the impact blocked sewers can have on the public. Many people do not realise the harm they cause when they flush inappropriate items such as baby wipes and sanitary items, which form together to cause rags that can block the sewers.”