CASTLEWELLAN/Newcastle Sinn Féin Councillor Stephen Burns has welcomed ongoing work to replace damaged water infrastructure in the district.
He said, “It is vital that we replace the existing trunk mains and connections with new MDPE pipe systems. The dilapidated state of our water infrastructure can be attributed to 30 years of British direct rule.
“Part of the process is the installation and replacement for boundary boxes at the edge of properties. This equipment is essential as it provides a shut off valve to isolate an individual property, as in a case of a leak. The box also provides the water network with protection from contamination from any external pollutants..
“Recent comments by the SDLP suggesting that this rehabilitation of our mains water supply was a precursor for water charging, is nothing more than political scare mongering. In fact these boundary boxes have been installed to all new properties for over twenty years now.
“NI Water use metering extensively throughout the district. All viable commercial properties are currently metered, bulk flow meters are used to measure distribution and leakage, but there are no plans to meter domestic properties.”
Councillor Burns who was highly critical of his nationalist opposition, also added, ” “Work has begun and NI Water has committed itself to keep disruption to a minimum. A spokes person for the water utility stated they will be using directional drilling as a method of pipe installation. This is generally a less intrusive process than the traditional method of digging large trenches on the road side.”
He added, “I hope that my council colleagues will join me in welcoming the replacement of our outdated and damaged mains system, and not allow themselves to fooled by the usual SDLP tactic of trying to create political gain from local people’s suffering”.