Moneymore wastewater plant targeted by vandals

NI Water have warned that a spate of vandalism at a wastewater treatment works in County Londonderry could lead to river pollution or a serious injury.

Over the past week there have been three break-ins at the site in Moneymore which treats wastewater from around 1,000 properties in the area.

NI Water said fencing, control panels and other equipment had been targeted.

Head of waste water at NI Water, Alec McQuillan, described it as "pure wanton vandalism".

"The latest incidents have resulted in approximately £2,500 worth of damage while previous incidents have cost over £4,000," he said.

"It is frustrating to be spending funding on replacing equipment and improving site security as a result of vandalism, rather than on investment and improvement programmes.

"However, what worries us more is the potential for a pollution incident to occur or for someone to get seriously injured while attempting to enter the works or while tampering with the equipment.

"The deep sludge tanks are also a major hazard, as it would be very difficult for anyone falling into the tanks to get out."

NI Water said it was working with police and had increased its own staffing levels on the site in a bid to catch those responsible.