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Kennedy views progress at Magilligan WwTWs

06 September 2012 11:31

Trevor Haslett, Danny Kennedy, Dermott McCurdy
Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy has visited the Magilligan area in the North West where NI Water is carrying out an extensive £8m programme of work to rationalise and upgrade the wastewater infrastructure in this popular tourist region.

At the heart of the huge investment is the construction of a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment works on a Greenfield site - previously-owned by the Ministry of Defence - located off the Point Road in Magilligan. Designed for population projections to the year 2030, this modern new facility will treat all sewerage flows from Oughtymoyle, Drumavalley, Aughil, Benone, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) facility and HM Prison Magilligan, before discharging the final effluent to the North Channel via a new outfall pipe at Magilligan Point.

Viewing progress at the new Magilligan Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW), Danny Kennedy said: “This vital project is excellent news on both an environmental and economic level. The local watercourses, including Lough Foyle and the bathing waters at Benone Strand, will significantly benefit from this major investment and the construction industry in Northern Ireland is being given a welcome boost by the £8m investment,”
“I am impressed to see the progress of the work on this important new treatment facility which will serve this popular tourist area well for many years to come. The new infrastructure will also ensure compliance with foreseeable European standards.

Explaining more about the overall Benone Area Sewerage Scheme and the wider benefits it will bring to the locality, Trevor Haslett, Chief Executive of NI Water said:
“In an overhaul of the existing arrangements, all current wastewater treatment works at Aughil, Drumavalley and those operated by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and HM Prison Magilligan, will be converted to modern new pumping stations. When the entire scheme is complete these pumping stations will transfer all wastewater and stormwater to the new Magilligan WwTW for effective treatment before being discharged to sea through the new outfall pipe at Magilligan Point.
An additional benefit of the scheme is the decommissioning and removal of the existing Benone WwTW (which is adjacent to one of the local caravan parks) along with the irrigation field (soakaway) to which it discharges. The existing Benone Vacuum Pumping Station will be refurbished and all flows from this part of the network will be transferred directly to the new Magilligan WwTW.”

Commenting on the efforts made to reduce the short and long-term impact of the project on the local community, Trevor continued: “Minimising the effects of construction in an area where tourism plays such a major role has been a key objective for NI Water, and we have developed what we consider to be aesthetically-pleasing designs for all sites that will minimise the visual impact of the new construction.

“At the new pumping stations many of the highly-visual above-ground buildings will be demolished and tanks will be sunk as close to ground level as possible. At Magilligan WwTW, the control building has been designed with a curved roof to echo a traditional agricultural building and will be finished in a subdued ‘field-pattern' colour to integrate with its surroundings. All spoil excavated on the Magilligan WwTW site will be reused in landscaping the area around the new works to reduce the visual intrusion of the facility.

“A number of new wastewater pumping mains are required to link the new and refurbished pumping stations to the new Magilligan WwTW. Around half of the pipelines will be laid in agricultural lands with the remaining being laid in roads/road verges. The road section of pipelaying will be undertaken outside of the main tourist seasons using low-dig technologies where possible to reduce the impact to the public in the area.”

Work is well underway at both the MoD and HMP pumping station sites. Within the next two weeks work will start at Drumavalley, Aughil and Benone pumping stations, whilst pipelaying will get underway at the end of September. NI Water and our contractors will continue to liaise with local stakeholders and endeavour to keep the community informed of planned work as the project continues.”

Due for completion in September 2013, the Benone Area Sewerage Scheme is just one of many projects making up a £3m-a-week spend by NI Water to deliver a 21st century infrastructure for the whole of Northern Ireland. BSG Civil Engineering is the contractor for this scheme with AECOM providing design and technical support.

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