AMONG the 70 sewage treatment works that are operating at full capacity and cannot take any new connections is Limavady.
Local SDLP Assembly Member John Dallat has warned that the lack of money to upgrade will impact particularly on first-time house buyers who will face a serious hike in prices as developers are forced to provide their own treatment works.
He said: “This underinvestment has been creeping up for several years and is now at crisis point with the building industry worst affected and that not only affects house prices, it endangers jobs and will be seen by investors as a deterrent to investing in those towns were sewage capacity is at its limit.
“Other smaller towns in the Causeway Coast and Glens Council area, including Kilrea, are among the 70 towns and villages that cannot offer sewage connections for new developments. The last two houses built in Kilrea are on septic tanks!”
He continued: “In correspondence with NI Water I have been told that only 19 out of the 70 waste water treatment works and networks can expect upgrading without investment in the region of £200 million. Only £60 million is available.
“The impact of this is serious not just because it will stop ew developments but there are environmental issues which in time will impact on the quality of our water in our waterways, rivers and beaches. “
He concluded: “Our health is our most important priority and clean water is key to ensuring the fight against pollution of our waterways and the question is: ‘Why on earth are two political parties keeping the assembly mothballed while our infrastructure in lacking serious investment to such an extent that it is no longer possible to make basic connections to sewage systems?”
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