NI Water lays the foundation for long-term wastewater programme in Belfast

NI Water has started a £10m programme of work at Belfast Wastewater Treatment Works; they say this major investment will protect the environment, support development and aid economic growth in the city.

The extensive project will see the construction of two new treatment tanks at the Duncrue Road site – equivalent in volume to six Olympic-size swimming pools – to cope with current and short-term future wastewater requirements.

Some 90 concrete lorries delivered over 700m3 of concrete to the Duncrue Road site over a 12-hour period to create the base of the first new tank. Altogether it will take 7,500m3 of concrete to construct the tanks which are equal in size to six Olympic-size swimming pools.

Pictured here (L-R) are Hannah Currie, McAdam Design, Kieran Grant, NI Water and Rodney Moates, Dawson WAM overseeing the first of the major concrete pours to construct the new treatment tanks at Belfast Wastewater Treatment Works.

Kieran Grant, Head of Wastewater Treatment Capital Delivery at NI Water, said: “Due to constraints in investment over the past 20 years, many parts of the wastewater and drainage infrastructure serving greater Belfast are now having to operate at or over their original design capacity.

“The two new treatment tanks being constructed will provide much-needed additional secondary treatment capacity and augment the existing process to ensure that the discharge to Belfast Lough remains compliant with Northern Ireland Environment Agency standards. The new assets will also facilitate essential improvements within the associated sewerage networks and will enable maintenance works to be undertaken in the other treatment tanks at a future date.

“This significant investment by NI Water will ensure our key wastewater treatment works for Belfast remains compliant, in advance of the main ‘Living With Water Programme’ commencing.”

Kieran Grant (left) and John Griffin (both NI Water) oversee the concrete pour at Belfast WwTW

Contained within a site area of around 180,000 square metres (almost 2 million square feet), Belfast WwTW was designed to treat a domestic and trade population equivalent of 290,000. The current works was built in 1991 to replace the original Victorian works which dates back to the early 1900s.

This latest phase of work is being undertaken by Murphy Dawson-Wam JV, with McAdam Design providing project management support. When complete next year, the extended wastewater treatment works will accommodate a population equivalent of almost half a million people.