Articles & Case Studies

CleanER Seas for North Coast

Posted: Friday 25th January 2008

Costing £45m, the North Coast Wastewater Treatment Scheme is one of the most intricate wastewater schemes to be completed within Northern Ireland.

Scott Wilson, the international multi-disciplinary consultancy group, was responsible for civil, structural, architectural and landscape design, along with town planning services, for the scheme, which was officially opened this week by Regional Development Minister, Conor Murphy.

In a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a popular tourist destination, the North Coast Scheme was designed to comply with the latest EU Urban Wastewater Treatment and EU Bathing Waters Directives. Castlerock Strand, Portstewart Strand, Portrush Mill and Curran Strand, four of Northern Ireland’s most popular beaches, are benefiting greatly from the bathing water improvements.

Minister Murphy said “The North Coast boasts some of the north’s finest beaches and the need to safeguard and improve the quality of local bathing waters here is paramount”.

Ronan Clancy, Scott Wilson Technical Director comments, “The North Coast scheme was very challenging from a design point of view as it involved so many diverse aspects. We are very pleased to have completed this scheme within such an environmentally sensitive area, through the dedication and skills of all the team involved”.

As one of Northern Ireland Water’s (NIW) largest investment projects, the existing sewerage system has been completely rationalised and reorganised so that wastewater collected from Coleraine, Portrush, Portstewart, Castlerock and Articlave is transferred to a new two-stage activated sludge treatment process at Craigtown More.

The North Coast Wastewater Treatment Works, between Portrush and Portstewart, has been designed to have minimal impacts on the surrounding area by careful integration of the structure within the natural landscape. Excavated material from the site has been used in the landscaping to reduce the visible effect of the scheme.

At Craigtown More the wastewater will be treated to a higher standard to comply with EU legislation, before being discharged offshore through a new 1,275m long sea outfall pipe. This transfer system will place the treated effluent at a location off the coast at Port Gallen, where the depth and natural currents will provide effective dispersion.

In addition to the new treatment works and the refurbishment of eight pumping stations, the scheme involved positioning 25km of pumping mains and gravity sewers. Eight new innovatively designed pumping stations have been designed to be in keeping with the North Coast’s high tourism credentials. Causeway Street pumping station in Portrush for example has been partially buried so is integrated into the landscape to provide an attractive amenity area for the local community.

For further information, please contact Rachel Brierley on 020 7821 4166 or at

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