Ballygawley residents without water for 20 years

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Some 20 families living in South Tyrone have called for urgent action after being forced to use spring or well water in their homes.

Residents from the Ballygawley area, some of whom have had no mains water for 20 years, have met with officials from NI water to highlight their predicament.

SDLP Councillor Sharon McAleer is also piling pressure on NI Water to come up with a solution.

The isolated households, some of which are situated along the Millix Road, the Greenhill Road and Shantavny, have no mains water connection or an inadequate supply.

Some are too far from a mains pipeline and would have to bear most of the cost of a connection.

“Our problem, living on a hill, and that of our neighbours, is that there is no pressure to provide mains water”, said the mother of one of the households, who did not want her name mentioned.

“The Water Service said it would cost each house £40,000 to build a pumping house to supply the mains, a sum that was exorbitant.”

Councillor McAleer is spearheading the residents’ campaign.

“I raised my concerns to Northern Ireland Water during a council meeting last month, that some residents in the Ballygawley Area still do not have mains water supply and rely on well water for everyday water supply which most times has poor water pressure and is often inadequate to meet family needs as well as farm animals”, she said.

“It creates problems not only for everyday family life but if these farmers want to diversify into other options such as poultry, they are restricted due to no water mains supply.”