This post reflects the 8-year campaign Lecale Conservation had with NIWater were we sought their prosecution for numerous sewerage spills into local waterways and into the Quoile itself.  This campaign, years later, contributed to the upgrade of the Quoile Sewerage works to level 3 and the replacement and upgrading of the main sewers around the town.

In this case Lecale members highlighted the shocking state of a small river leading out of Downpatrick which polluted the Ballydugan Marshes and the Quoile River.

The river was highly polluted and when local activists visited the site and found to be full of harmful waste and sewage deposits. There were also strong, foul smelling fumes.

We met with EHS officials on site and after looking over the obvious pollution of the water we 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.

Lots of local people have pointed out to us how bubbles of apparent noxious gases have been seen rising from the river bed. This type of pollution is rarely seen even in the most industrial cities, let alone a town like Downpatrick.

We raised concerns about the effect this pollution is having on local wildlife and wrote articles for the local and regional papers.

The extent of the pollution in the river suggested that it would make it totally unsuitable for wildlife. There is no sign of any birds or other small animals using this stream. More worryingly was the potential impact this pollution could have on wildlife further downstream, where the water enters the Ballydugan marshes and then the Quoile. Both are areas with large numbers and varieties of wildlife and any pollution will have a devastating effect on animals.