Development is underway of a £10 million programme of work at Belfast Wastewater Treatment Works, Duncrue, to construct two new treatment tanks.

These tanks are equivalent in volume to six Olympic-size swimming pools – to cope with current and short-term future wastewater requirements.

This major investment will protect the environment, support development and aid economic growth in the city.

The two new treatment tanks will provide much-needed additional capacity and enhance 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 at the other treatment tanks at a future date.

This significant interim investment is one of the first capital delivery projects of the ‘Living With Water Programme’, and will ensure that key wastewater treatment works for Belfast remains compliant until further works are carried out to provide the main increase in capacity and achieve more stringent water quality standards.

Cross-border project reaches halfway stage

Another water project, which is taking place across the Northern Ireland border in Carlingford Lough and Lough Foyle, has reached the halfway stage.

The Shared Waters Enhancement and Loughs Legacy (SWELL) project – which is being led by NI Water working in partnership with Irish Water, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), and Loughs Agency and East Border Region – was awarded €35 million in 2019, as part of the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

The SWELL project at Donemana. Image source: NI Water
The SWELL project at Donemana. Image source: NI Water

It comes two weeks after a new government report revealed Northern Ireland has failed to make any significant progress towards its river basin water quality targets over the last six years.

The four-year project involves the construction of new wastewater treatment works, as well as upgrades to sewerage networks at strategic locations on both sides of the border to address wastewater pollution in Carlingford Lough, and Lough Foyle.