There have been no oil pollution events in the River Brosna in Mullingar since the spring, councillors were informed at the July meeting of the Municipal District of Mullingar Kinnegad (MDMK). Responding to request for an update on the issue from Cllr Hazel Smyth, the local authority stated that recent investigations have determined that the source of the oil pollution events of the last two years was a surface water line coming from a private property in the centre of Mullingar.
“Westmeath County Council has identified the property; the property owner has been directed to complete the necessary remedial works. The property owner promptly carried out certain works to prevent further discharges of oil to the public surface water line. No further discharges have been noted in the section of Brosna downstream of this surface water sewer. An interim report from the property owner has also been received. A final report with regard to the extent of any contamination remaining within the property and indeed details of additional works required to ensure no future recurrence of the oil pollution event, remain outstanding. Westmeath Environment Section is actively engaged with the property owner and further enforcement action may be considered in the future if deemed necessary.”
Cllr Smyth said that she had been contacted by a number of individuals who were concerned about the effect that the pollution events have had on the water quality in Lough Ennell and its fish stocks. She also inquired if an oil interceptor should be installed on the river as “prevention is better than a cure”.
Cllr Andrew Duncan, who regularly raised the oil pollution events in the River Brosna at local authority meetings over the last two years, welcomed the news that the source of the problem has been located.
Director of services Martin Murray told Cllr Smyth that the property owner had installed an oil interceptor on the line. He added that council staff are constantly taking water samples from the river and no further discharges have been discovered.
Source – Westmeath Examiner