Posted: Wednesday 23rd September 2009

Northern Ireland Water’s (NI Water) £16 million, North Down Strategic Trunk Main project has been successfully completed and can now deliver up to 55 million litres of treated water each day to thousands of customers in North Down, Ards and the Greater Belfast areas. That’s enough drinking water to fill 21 Olympic sized swimming pools!

The new pressurised water main is a critical element of Northern Ireland’s most vital water supply system. Trevor Haslett, Director of Engineering Procurement, NI Water explains the significance of the project:

“The new system not only ensures that the security of supply has been improved but it also means that thousands of people from the North Down area will benefit from the delivery of high quality water, which comes from the Silent Valley where it is treated to the highest European Standards byNorthern Ireland’s biggest water treatment works at Drumaroad near Ballynahinch.”

Trevor adds: “The old North Down trunk main which was built in 1952 required significant investment to increase its capacity and improve the security of supply. In addition many of the old impounded water sources in the area needed substantial investment to comply with European Drinking Water Directives. However, upgrading the existing infrastructure would still not have accommodated further population expansion in the next 25 years, whereas the new system will. This investment shows the commitment ofNorthern IrelandWater to improving the service we offer to customers. I would like to thank the public and all the local representatives for their patience and co-operation throughout the construction of this works particularly those who remained patient during lengthy road closures.”

In total the works, which commenced in April 2006 involved the laying of 78kms of water mains, 17kms of which were large diameter trunk mains. Close attention was paid to the environmental impact of the project from the planning stage right through to post construction.

The route taken by the NDSTM was determined by environmental factors, avoiding areas of special scientific interest (ASSI’s) and locations populated with badger sets and other wildlife, as well as the complicated hydraulic conditions.

To neutralise the carbon footprint created by the works, contractors calculated the volume of carbon generated in the construction process and planted approximately 120 trees over the life of the project at various sites along the route of the strategic trunk main to counteract the effects of the carbon emissions.

The project was undertaken in partnership with McNicholas Construction and designed by Faber Maunsell | AECOM with Capita Symonds as Project Managers. It is part of Northern Ireland Water’s £3bn investment to deliver a 21st Century infrastructure for Northern Ireland.

£10m Rural Wastewater Investment Programme Blooms in Toome

The first project in Northern Ireland Water’s province-wide £10m Rural Wastewater Investment Programme has been completed. Ballymaguigan Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW) on the outskirts of Toome has been given a major overhaul, bringing it into line with the latest EU Directives.

Keith Taggart, NI Water’s project manager for the scheme said:

“Ballymaguigan WwTW is the first scheme to be commissioned under NI Water’s two-year rural investment programme. The new hi-tech works offer advanced treatment processes, with a level of improvement sophisticated enough to cater for development in the area until at least 2018.

“Over forty projects are currently underway as part of this extensive scheme which is delivering environmental benefits right acrossNorthern Ireland.

The programme is designed to upgrade the treatment systems in villages where the population is less than 250 people. NI Water is working in partnership with local company BSG Civil Engineering, based in Maghera and Belfast-based Williams Industrial Services.

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