Following major fish kills on the River Callan in Co. Armagh, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) has warned that lower water levels and warmer temperatures mean waterways and wildlife are more susceptible to pollution.
“Every living thing depends on water. It is a precious resource that is fundamental for our health, our environment and economy” said Tim Irwin, head of NIEA’s water management department.
“There are still too many water pollution incidents in Northern Ireland that cause damage to our environment and to our wildlife."
Rivers are particularly vulnerable because warmer water temperatures means less oxygen is capable of being dissolved within the water, explained Irwin.
“If released into a watercourse, organic substances such as slurry, silage or sewage effluent exert an oxygen demand and deplete the oxygen supply, causing the suffocation of fish and other aquatic animals.
If you have any concerns about water pollution in your local area or want to report a water pollution incident, you can contact the NIEA water pollution hotline on 0800 807 060.