Concerns over water quality in Moira area

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Lagan Valley Assembly Member Paul Givan has criticised Northern Ireland Water for its handling of an incident that caused concern for residents in the Maghaberry area.

“Last week the water supply to residents in this area was a murky brown colour and I was contacted by local people worried about the safety of the water,” explained Mr Givan.

“I was in regular contact with Northern Ireland Water and was advised that new infrastructure from the reservoir had caused the problem but the water was safe and tests had been carried out on its quality.

“Whilst the situation has now been resolved Northern Ireland Water need to review the way this incident was handled because the information being made available to the public to advise and reassure them was inadequate.

“Northern Ireland Water should have proactively engaged with the local community and produced information more directly and accessibly to residents .

A spokesperson for NI Water said: “NI Water has been working over the weekend and over the course of this week to resolve a water quality issue in the Moira area, including Magheralin, Dollingstown, Ballinderry, Aghalee, Aghagallon, and Maghaberry.

“Scientific staff have been analysing water quality since the incident started, and all tests have shown the water supply is bacteriologically satisfactory.

“NI Water would like to reassure customers the quality of their water is of paramount importance, and continuous testing has been carried out to monitor the situation.

“NI Water works closely with the Public Health Agency and the Drinking Water Inspectorate when monitoring water quality issues in Northern Ireland.

“It is suspected that a newly laid trunk main is the cause of sediment in water at customers taps.

“Staff have been working throughout the weekend and into this week flushing the system. Customers who are still experiencing cloudy water are advised to keep running their taps for periods of time.

“Throughout this period, we have undertaken to keep customers in the area informed via updates on our website, www.niwater.com, and via social media.

“We have worked to keep customers informed via our 24 hour Waterline service.

“Our dedicated Elected Representative Line has also been available 24 hours a day for the benefit of local representatives at all levels.

“NI Water apologises for the inconvenience this is causing customers in this area.

Anyone with any concerns should contact Waterline by dialling 08457 44 00 88. ”