Feeny couple say their water is not fit to drink

Sinn Fein Councillor Tony McCaul holds the pipe dug out of the couple's garden after it burst. (DERR1003SJ24)
Sinn Fein Councillor Tony McCaul holds the pipe dug out of the couple's garden after it burst. (DERR1003SJ24)

A Feeny woman who claims her family has been living without clean drinking water for the last year is appealing to NI Water for help.

The woman, who prefers not to be named, said none of the family drink the tap water in their home, and instead drink filtered water due to the amount of grime and dirt in the water from the tap.

The couple say they are concerned for their health, and that of their three-year-old daughter who they say has never drank tap water from the house.

“We have to use the water for washing clothes, but the water is filthy. Yo have to run it through twice. We’re boiling water for everything, and there is the cost of that,” she said. “All we want is to be able to turn on the tap and get clean water. It’s just horrible. You run a bath and the water is brown. It has a huge impact on your day-to-day life.”

The couple say last summer there was a burst pipe. NI Water said it replaced the section of pipe that falls within their responsibility. The couple have been told if they wish to replace the remainder of piping they have do the work themselves, that it is their responsibility as it falls within their property boundary.

“All we want is clean water,” said the woman, whose partner added: “You know it’s bad when even the cat won’t drink it.”

Sinn Fein Councillor Tony McCaul has been working with the family for some time on the issue,

“Along with MLA Cathal O’hOisin, I’ve met with NI Water. Environmental health officials from the former Limavady Borough Council have also visited the property. From what I see over this last number of months it appears, the water at this property is really not fit for consumption,” said Colr. McCaul.

“We’ve been pressing NI Water to do what is neccessary. The family want to have clean drinking water, which currently they do not have. We’ve been pushing on this issue for a year now and we are getting nowhere.”

A spokesperson for NI Water said: “NI Water is aware of issues relating to a supply pipe serving a property at Main Street, Feeny.

“NI Water replaced the section of the pipe that falls within its’ responsibility. It is the responsibility of the customer to repair or replace that section of the pipe that falls within their property boundary. NI Water is satisfied with the quality of the water being supplied to properties in the Feeny area.”

A spokesperson for Causeway Coast and Glens Council confirmed the matter was reported to staff at the former Limavady Borough Council.

“The resident contacted Council in the first instance. An environmental health officer visited the property and, when it became clear that this was a mains water issue, the resident was referred to NI Water straight away, who carry out water testing on mains water supplies,” said the spokesperson.