River pollution incident is blamed on current coronavirus lockdown

Wednesday 15th April 2020 7:00 am
Discharge of leachate from former Raggatt tip

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The Covid lockdown is being blamed for a pollution incident in the River Neb.

Regular emptying of the leachate collection tank at the former Raggatt tip was reduced in frequency due to the coronavirus emergency.

The tank filled up and started to overflow out of the manhole cover, from where potentially toxic effluent ran into a nearby surface water gully that discharges into the River Neb.

John Griffiths, from Isle of Man Friends of the Earth, came across the problem on April 3 and alerted Infrastructure Minister and constituency MHK Ray Harmer.

Mr Griffiths said: ’He replied within a minute saying he would investigate and get it sorted. The following morning the discharge of effluent into the river had ceased.’

He thanked Mr Harmer for his prompt action in sorting out the pollution issue.

Leachate, containing a range of contaminants, is regularly taken by tanker from the former Raggatt tip and disposed of into the sewer at Mill Road, Peel.

From there it is discharged into the bay through the breakwater outfall.

Manx Utilities has been looking at whether it is viable to treat the leachate at the proposed regional sewage treatment works to be built at nearby Glenfaba House.

But the plans to pump potentially toxic leachate from the former Raggatt tip are not included in the planning application for the works currently pending consideration (19/00462/B).

A Department of Infrastructure spokesman said: ’The department reduced the frequency of leachate removal due to members of the team that undertake this work being absent from work as a result of the coronavirus emergency. A contractor has been engaged to assist and the leachate is now removed as before.’

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