how to save water

Major infrastructure investments

At NI Water we have a unique and privileged role supporting health, safeguarding the environment and promoting a strong regional economy.

Delivering high quality water and wastewater services that Northern Ireland requires to meet the demands of a growing 21st century economy, will take time and will cost money. We are investing approximately £2m per week in water and wastewater services across NI. £1.9 billion has been invested in Northern Ireland’s water and sewerage infrastructure over the last ten years

Delivering an improved infrastructure within the budget constraints set for us is one of the most challenging jobs facing any organisation in the water and sewerage sector – but the achievement of our objectives will result in major benefits to public health, the environment and the economy.

Killylea Wastewater Pumping Station (Armagh) and Sewer Network Upgrades

Killylea Wastewater Pumping Station (Armagh) and Sewer Network Upgrades New Pumping Station under construction

NI Water is investing £1.4 million to improve and upgrade the existing Killylea Wastewater pumping station as well as the sewerage infrastructure in west Armagh during 2019/20.

Our contractor BSG Civil Engineering commenced works on site in May 2019 and we anticipate all works will be complete by spring 2020.

Why is the work needed?

A Drainage Area Study of the city’s sewerage system identified a number of key projects required to improve the system, and included the replacement of the existing Killylea Road Waste Water Pumping Station (WwPS) as well as the upgrade of sewers in West Armagh, that are in very poor condition. The Killylea Road WwPs serves a population of approximately 3000 people and pumps wastewater to the Wastewater Treatment Works located on the Loughgall Road. The proposed sewerage network upgrades will reduce the likelihood of out of sewer flooding and environmental pollution, by reducing storm water discharges to the Callen River.

Location Plan

New Pumping Station under construction

What will the works involve?
Work locations will include Killylea Road, Irish Street, Friary Road, Navan Street and Drelincourt Close and will include the following elements of work:

  • Construction of a new Wastewater Pumping Station located at the junction of Umgola Road/Killylea Road – demolition of old pumping station on Killylea Road.
  • Extension of the sewer and emergency overflow pipes to the new station. 
  • Upgrades to sewers in the Friary Road area Upsizing and diversion of the existing sewers in Drelincourt Close.
  • Upsizing and diversion of Irish Street sewers

Work locations

Current works on site:

Work is underway on the new Wastewater Pumping Station located adjacent to the shops between the Killylea and Umgola Roads.

Works is currently ongoing in the Irish Street area with Phases 1 & 2 complete.

Phase 3 –will includee the reconstruction of a 5m deep manhole in Irish Street at the entrance to St Malachy’s Church.For safety reasons a road closure will be in place for up to 2 weeks to complete these works. Discussions are ongoing with the Department for Infrastructure regarding the timing of this phase.

Sewer laying works will commence in the laneway located at the rear of Navan Street, Corrigan Court car park during September 2019.

What are the benefits?
The project when complete will substantially reduce the risk of out of sewer flooding; improve water quality in the Callan River as well as reducing the amount of Fats, Oils and Greases (FOG’s) in the existing sewers. It will also facilitate further development within this area of the City.

NI Water is grateful to all local residents, business owners and commuters for their co-operation and patience throughout this programme of essential works.

Sewerage Rehabilitation Programme

Sewerage Rehabilitation Programme Night time sewer re-lining

The “Sewerage Rehabilitation Programme” is an ongoing programme of work that is part of NI Water’s commitment to providing an effective sewerage system across Northern Ireland and represents an investment of approximately £18 million over a 6-year period.

Due to the age of the sewerage network, there is an increasing need to carry out “rehabilitation” (repair and maintenance work) to ensure optimum service is delivered to customers. As part of the ongoing commitment to improving services to customers, NI Water has a long-term programme for the improvement of the existing sewerage network.

NI Water have an ongoing programme to undertake CCTV surveys of existing sewers to identify and prioritise parts of the sewerage system that require rehabilitation. We continually undertake repair and renovation of existing sewers, and replace sewers that collapse or are otherwise beyond their useful lifespan. Works on this major project are currently being delivered through a number of contracting partners, at various locations throughout Northern Ireland.

What will the work entail?

The work may involve the relaying, relining or repair of existing sewers. Wherever possible the work will be undertaken using specialist “no-dig” or “low-dig” methods, which minimise the amount of ‘open’ excavation required. This is to minimise disruption to the public, businesses and road users as much as possible. However, where these methods are not possible, work will be carried out by “traditional” open trench methods.

At some locations, the work may involve lane/road closures, which will be agreed with the Department of Infrastructure in advance. All appropriate signage will be in place to inform the public, and we will work closely with our contracting partners to ensure disruption is minimised as far as possible.

On occasions, due to the location and nature of the works it may be necessary to carry them out during the evening/night time hours. This may be to allow the works to be undertaken safely, protecting the safety of road users, the public and construction workers, or to reduce the impact on road users/businesses.

What benefits do these works provide?

When work is completed in a specific area, it will: -

  • Improve the condition of the system
  • Reduce the likelihood of sewer collapses and blockages
  • Reduce the associated likelihood of out-of-sewer flooding 
  • Reduce long term disruption to customers and road users as a result of ongoing maintenance
  • Reduce long term maintenance costs

NI Water fully realises that work of this nature can be unavoidably disruptive, more so at some locations than others, particularly where temporary road closures and traffic diversions are required. In partnership with our Project Managers AECOM, contractors Geda Construction, we will work closely with the Department for Infrastructure and other key stakeholders to minimise inconvenience and disruption to local residents, businesses and road users as far as practicably possible.

In addition to the planned work programme, NI Water also have an ongoing programme of unplanned sewer rehabilitation works. This entails more reactionary type works, which are often emergency in nature and are also carried out throughout Northern Ireland. Due to the nature of these works, there may be a limited amount of notice for the public as they are often undertaken to prevent a sewer collapse or property flooding.


Existing sewer requiring emergency repair

Bag it and Bin it – Help us look after the upgraded sewers!

NI Water spends approximately £2.5 million a year on clearing blocked sewers. We would like to ask for the public’s assistance in reducing these by not placing inappropriate items in the toilet, down a drain or into the sewers.

Find out more at


Water Mains Rehabilitation Project

Water Mains Rehabilitation Project

As part of the ongoing commitment to improving our services to customers, NI Water has a long-term programme for the improvement of existing water mains. Much of our water mains system is between 40 and 150 years old, it is generally in poor condition and needs to be replaced

NI Water aims to upgrade the ageing water mains system by renewing pipes and addressing problems such as bursts, poor pressure and leaks. Work is also necessary to improve water quality, to ensure sufficient capacity to meet future demands and to comply with all current National and European environmental regulations.

The current phase of the Water Mains Project will cost approximately £114million, which will be invested in laying approximately 905km of water mains right across Northern Ireland. Customers may experience a reduction in water pressure or an interruption to supply whilst work is being carried out. NI Water apologises for any inconvenience. Customers can call NI Water on 03457 44 00 88 for further updates.

Discoloured water can occur when the mains are disturbed. This can happen when there has been an interruption to supply following a burst main and the operational activity associated with the repair. The discolouration will be short-lived, and running the tap for a while should help clear it from the system.

All water is disinfected to ensure it is safe to drink. Following operational activity, the level of chlorine in the water supply may be boosted temporarily. The amount of chlorine is carefully controlled and monitored at our treatment works and strategic points in the distribution system.

Water quality samples are taken following burst mains repairs to ensure that a satisfactory water supply is restored to customers.

To download the Customer Guide water Mains 2016 here

Bangor Sewerage Infrastructure Improvement Scheme

Bangor Sewerage Infrastructure Improvement Scheme Clandeboye site

An essential programme of improvement work is currently underway to upgrade the sewerage infrastructure and key pumping stations in the Bangor area, an estimated £12M total investment by NI Water in Bangor’s Sewerage infrastructure.

The project is good news for the local area and will greatly improve the water quality in Ballyholme strand and the North Down coastal waters, whilst improving the sewerage infrastructure in the North Down area. The work will also ensure that NI Water complies with Northern Ireland Environment Agency standards and will help to ensure that local beaches meet EU Directives for bathing water quality.

Luke’s Point & Bangor Marina

The first two phases of NI Water’s essential improvement programme represented an investment in the region of £3.1 million and involved upgrade work at Luke’s Point and the construction of a new Pumping Station at Bangor Marina to provide extra storage capacity, particularly during periods of heavy rainfall. This work was completed in Summer 2014.

Clandeboye Stream

Work on the third phase of the programme in the Clandeboye area commenced in Spring 2015. This project representing a £1.75M investment to the sewerage infrastructure of Bangor involved the construction of a new offline storm tank within the grounds of Clandeboye Primary School and the laying of new/replacement gravity sewers. Modifications were made to the existing Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) structures and a new pumping laid.

Clandeboye site – Nearing completion
It is anticipated that work on this phase will be completed by the end of September 2016.

SuDS – Rainwater Garden

NI Water working with the Education Authority, Head Mistress and Board of Governors of Clandeboye Primary School hope to construct a Suds (sustainable Urban Drainage system) Rainwater Garden as part of this project ( This will help to manage and control storm water within the grounds of Clandeboye primary school introducing visual, environmental and educational benefits to the school alongside the primary benefits of sustainable stormwater management. Discussions with the school and the SEELB are at an advanced stage and it is hoped to complete this work at the end of the current project.

NI Water, the Department for Infrastructure, Education Authority and the Department of Education are pleased to announce that an innovative new rainwater garden to help reduce the risk of flooding has been completed at Clandeboye Primary School.

Castle Park

This phase represents an investment of approximately £3m to improve the sewerage infrastructure within the Bangor area. Work commenced in early September in Castle Park, and will involve the construction of a large (25m diameter, 13m deep) underground storage tank. This will replace the existing Castle Park Waste Water Pumping Station as well as providing additional storage. The new pumping station will be located within the grounds of Castle Park (see drawing below), within a scheduled archaeological area, archaeological work was carried out during the preconstruction phase and will be used to assess the key areas that will need monitored during these works. An archaeologist has been appointed and will record any additional features found during excavation. During construction temporary footpath will be provided where existing paths are removed. All grass areas and pathways will be reinstated on completion of construction.

Artists Impression – during construction


Artists Impression – on completion


The work at Castle Park will facilitate the closure of 4 Combined Sewer Overflows, and the diversion of a further 4 to the new WastewaterPumping Station within Castle Park. The project will also include the upsizing and diversion of existing sewers to cater for the increase in flows from the closure of these CSO’s. This work will take place on the Newtownards Road and through private lands into the pumping station within Castle Park. There will also be a road crossing at the Newtownards Road/Belfast Road junction. Following extensive archaeological investigations by NI Water, major incoming and outgoing pipework to the new pumping station in Castle Park will be laid alongside the historic St. Malachy’s Wall as agreed with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, significantly minimizing disruption for traders and traffic in the area. Our contractor will take all appropriate measures to ensure that the wall is preserved, and access will be maintained to Bangor Abbey. During construction we will maintain vehicular and pedestrian access to Castle Park and all car parks will remain open.


A number of constraints affected the positioning of the site for the new pumping station including the size of the incoming sewers, the underground tank and the position of the historic wall. We have as far as possible located the tank to reduce the need to remove mature trees, however some must be removed to allow the works to proceed.

NI Water in consultation with NDBC Grounds Maintenance commissioned an arboricultural report which identified 6 trees that required felling due to their current health and condition. Up to an additional 6 trees within council owned, council leased and private land are required to be felled to construct the proposed station.

All trees to be felled will be replaced with native tree species a minimum of 3 years old. This has been agreed in consultation with Ards and North Down Borough Council. Wherever possible trenchless methods of construction will be used to minimise any further impact on tress within the park.  

When complete this project will allow NI Water to meet standards set by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and substantially reduce the risk of ‘out of sewer’ flooding and environmental pollution. We anticipate that this work will take 10 months to complete.

Brompton / Strickland

Subject to funding, statutory approvals and agreement with key stakeholders the next phase of this programme will commence in 2017. This will involve the construction of 2 Waste Water Pumping Stations at Brompton and Stricklands along the costal pathway. The planning application for the proposed works was submitted to NDBC Council in July 2016. NI Water has worked closely with the Bangor West Conservation Group, local elected representatives and residents to develop the current proposals and will continue the consultation process as this scheme progresses.


A further scheme planned within the grounds of Carnalea Care home includes construction of a new storage tank with a flow restriction on the continuation sewer, this tank will capture dilute storm sewage from entering into the Carnalea Stream during heavy rainfall conditions, improving water quality and protecting the environment.. It is proposed to locate the tank within an existing grass area/layby within the grounds of Carnalea Clinic with a screened high level overflow to the Carnalea stream.

It is anticipated that this scheme will commence in Spring 2017 subject to obtaining the necessary statutory approvals and the availability of funding.

Click on the video below for an overview of the scheme and areas affected

Background Information

The overall £12M programme of investment will help to ensure NI Water complies with Northern Ireland Environment Agency standards and work towards ensuring that local beaches meet EU Directives for bathing water quality. To achieve the highest bathing water quality requires a coordinated joined-up approach from all stakeholders, help from the local community and all citizens playing a role.

Bathing Water Information

What are the top five sources of bathing water pollution?

  1. Pollution from sewage – bacteria from sewage can enter our waters as a result of system failures or overflows or directly from sewage works
  2. Water draining from farms and farmland – manure from livestock or poorly stored slurry can wash into rivers and streams resulting in faecal material entering the sea
  3. Animals and birds on or near beaches - dog, bird and other animal faeces can affect bathing water as they often contain high levels of bacteria (much higher than treated human waste)
  4. Water draining from populated areas - water draining from urban areas following heavy rain can contain pollution from a variety of sources, including animal and bird faeces
  5. Domestic sewage – misconnected drains and poorly located and maintained septic tanks can pollute surface water systems

What are the top five things you can do to improve bathing water?

  1. Check your home or business property is connected to the right drainage system. Wrongly connected plumbing could mean that dirty water from toilets, dishwashers and showers could be going directly into your local river or sea.
  2. If you’re a dog owner, obey the dog exclusion zones on beaches and pick up after your dog.
  3. If your property is connected to a septic tank, make sure it’s registered, check it’s working correctly and keep it maintained.
  4. Don’t drop litter, especially food waste, as it encourages birds.
  5. Get involved with local beach clean-ups. Many local and national organisations run regular beach cleans.

Source: Natural Resources Wales

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