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Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Blocked sewer suspected to have caused 'major' fish kill along 5km stretch of river in north Dublin

A local councillor has called on Irish Water to explain how it will protect the river.
Sep 21st 2018, 4:29 PM 21,020 17

A SUSPECTED SEWER blockage has led to the second major fish kill along a stretch of the River Tolka in north Dublin in the last year.

On Tuesday, Inland Fisheries Ireland received a report of the fish kill along the river in the Tolka Valley Park area.

The authority said its personnel immediately attended the scene to commence an investigation into the kill, and identified a significant amount of pollution in the river.

In a statement, Inland Fisheries Ireland confirmed that dead fish were recorded over a 5km stretch of the river, and the body said that its investigations into the kill are continuing.

Fingal County councillor Matt Waine said it was the second time in almost a year that the Tolka has suffered a substantial level of contamination that has led to a fish kill.

The Solidarity councillor said it was “a miracle” that fish were in the river at all recently, given last year’s incident.

“We are still awaiting a conclusive report as to cause of this contamination however, we do know from Fingal officials that the source of the contamination was a blockage on the 9C sewer at Damastown, which then spilled over into the Tolka,” he said.

“Responsibility for ensuring that sewers are well maintained and that blockages are detected and remedied before causing such environmental destruction lies with Irish Water.”

Waine also called on Irish Water to attend a meeting of the Castleknock-Mulhuddart local committee meeting to explain how they would protect the Tolka River.

“I have to say, I now have major reservations over the 9C sewer duplication works that are due to commence shortly through the Tolka Valley,” he added.

“If Irish Water cannot protect the Tolka from discharges and blockages on the existing sewer line, what are the chances of a more serious incident while these works are being carried out?”

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Stephen McDermott

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