NI Water’s Ormeau Sewerage Improvement Project recently received a top award from the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Social Impact Awards – the only nationally recognised awards applauding the built environment’s transformative contribution to society.
The £5 million project involved the upgrade of major sewers within the Ormeau Avenue/Lower Ormeau Road, Dublin Road, Bruce Street, Sandy Row and Joy Street areas of Belfast.
Some of the sewers within this area dated back to the late 1800’s and were in very poor condition. In addition to the upgrade of the existing sewers in the area, the project included the construction of a new underground Wastewater Pumping Station within an existing car park in Hardcastle Street.
At the height of construction, shoppers and commuters on Great Victoria Street and the Dublin Road were oblivious to the fact a large sewer was being tunnelled right under traffic and pedestrians at a depth of 2 double decker buses!
Grahame Millar NI Water’s Head of Wastewater Capital Delivery said: “The Ormeau project team is delighted to achieve this prestigious award, which recognises companies who have made a difference and brought positive change to the built and natural environments through collaboration and innovation. I would like to pay tribute to the NI Water team and our partners White Young Green and Dawson WAM who helped make this project such a success.
“This was a challenging project to enhance the sewerage infrastructure in the Ormeau area of Belfast City Centre and we are pleased to have delivered the benefits of reduced flood risk and environmental improvement, whilst also providing additional capacity to support economic development within this area of the city.
“The scheme was successfully completed in Autumn 2019 and has helped local communities in the area to thrive and develop, as well as supporting the development of the Linen Quarter.
“Every aspect of life in NI depends on the provision of clean drinking water and management of wastewater to safeguard health, underpin economic growth and protect our environment and NI Water is delighted that the Ormeau project has been recognised by the RICS.”
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: “I want to add my congratulations to NI Water on winning this prestigious award for this £5million project right in the heart of Belfast. There are few services more critical to our health and well-being than the availability of clean drinking water and the ability to treat our waste water effectively, particularly at this very challenging time. This goes to the very heart of our society so it is fitting that this Award recognises the impact on our community and our environment.
“It is well known that we have an ageing water and wastewater infrastructure and I continue to make the case for investment in this critical infrastructure to ensure our communities are places where people want to live, visit, work and start a business.”