NI Water is putting out a strong message that recent vandalism acts at Ballycairn Wastewater Pumping Station (WwPS) in Coleraine could cause serious harm or even potentially death to those who are committing these crimes. The company is appealing for the assistance of the community after the break in and theft of electrical earthing cable at the site.
John Bell from NI Water comments, “The theft of this cable triggered an alarm which was responded to by staff. Once on site, they found the site had been broken into and an amount of cable had been stolen.
“This particular cable controls the pumps which take wastewater to the local wastewater treatment works for treatment. Had the alarm not triggered, this could have led to a pollution incident.
“The most serious part of this incident is the danger posed to those who entered the site in terms of electric shock. The location of this facility is also a factor, a cry for help would not be heard and it could prove difficult for emergency services to find.
‘‘Unfortunately, vandalism is an all too common problem at some of our sites. All our facilities provide an essential service for the community and environment, so any damage can potentially impact on service delivery by NI Water. The cost is also a factor and creates a needless drain on resources that could be better used to improve services.
“NI Water takes all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of our sites, but we would point out that our working sites should only be accessed by trained and qualified personnel. I would call on those who are involved in vandalism and unauthorised access to stop immediately before they cause injury to themselves or a severe incident in their own local community.
‘‘Anyone who is aware of acts of vandalism can report the incident to the PSNI on 101, or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.’’