PPS 11: Planning and Waste Management
Policy WM 1: Protection of Surface and Groundwater
6.34 In assessing proposals the Department must have regard to the need to protect the quality of surface water and groundwater. Whilst modern containment and drainage engineering has significantly reduced the likelihood of water contamination, waste development has the potential to pollute surface and groundwater resources if operations are not properly controlled and monitored. In particular problems can arise from surface water run-off, landfill leachate and the discharge of wastewater from waste management operations such as composting and recycling plants. Developers must ensure that a suitable drainage system is proposed which will prevent contaminants from reaching surface water drains or groundwater resources.
6.35 Proposals for waste management facilities will only be permitted where they would not have an unacceptable impact on the quantity or quality of surface or groundwater resources.
6.36 Under the terms of the Water (NI) Order 1999 consent is required from Environment & Heritage Service to discharge any trade or sewage effluent (including treated landfill leachate) or contaminated site drainage into a waterway or underground stratum. This consent can impose whatever conditions are deemed necessary to safeguard water quality.
6.37 Sites being considered for landfill or landraising to dispose of potentially polluting wastes, and their surroundings, must be investigated carefully by suitable experts to determine the geological conditions and the behaviour of surface water and groundwater. The Department will consult the Environment & Heritage Service (EHS) for advice on this issue. The Geological Survey of Northern Ireland works closely with EHS and provides specific hydrogeological input in relation to groundwater protection.