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NI Water to invest £1.5m to improve sewer network in Newry

20 March 2023 17:19

NI Water is due to commence a programme of improvements on the sewerage system on the Dublin Road before the end of March as part of a £1.5m investment to strengthen the existing sewers in Newry.

This first phase of work, which will extend along Dublin Road between Bridge Street and the Forkhill Roundabout, will be undertaken at night in a bid to minimise disruption.

Work is planned to get underway during the week commencing 27th March 2023 and will last approximately 5 weeks. 

Commenting on the work, Robert McLean, NI Water Senior Project Manager, said: “Where possible, repairs to the sewers will be undertaken using trenchless techniques from existing manholes. This approach does not require excavation works and reduces the overall disruption. 

“In a bid to minimise disruption further, the works will be undertaken during the night from 7pm to 6am. 

“Localised traffic management will be in place around any works area to manage the flow of traffic. Vehicular access to business and residential properties will be maintained but may be subject to slight delays, while parking restrictions may be in place around a working area.

“Letters have been issued to businesses and residents along the route and signage to notify the wider public has been erected. NI Water and our contractor GEDA Construction will make every effort to minimise noise and complete the work in the shortest possible timeframe.

“We would take this opportunity to highlight that construction sites are dangerous areas for unauthorised persons, especially children and we would appreciate your cooperation in ensuring that children do not play in or around the works or machinery. Working areas will have warning signs and traffic control in place to protect the public from any danger.

“NI Water and our project team from AECOM and GEDA appreciate the patience and cooperation from businesses, residents and road users while we undertake this essential work. This project will improve the condition of the existing sewerage system, reducing the likelihood of sewer collapses, blockages and out-of-sewer flooding.

“We will issue information on subsequent phases of work once they have been programmed and traffic management arrangements have been agreed.”

NI Water manages a network of 15,600km of sewers on a daily basis and we have spent billions investing in our water and wastewater infrastructure. However, no amount of investment will completely stop blocked pipes or inappropriate items polluting our environment. Items such as baby wipes and sanitary products are often the cause of out-of-sewer flooding, which can easily be avoided by only flushing the 3Ps: pee, poo and toilet paper; everything else needs to go in the bin. 


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• In 2007, NI Water’s operating costs were 49% less efficient than the leading UK utility comparator.  A benchmarking analysis carried out by the Utility Regulator and reported in the PC21 Final Determination, confirms that NI Water has closed the operating cost efficiency gap with leading water sector companies in England and Wales to just 5.7%.

• We have rationalised our use of operational and office-based assets and systems throughout this period leading to lower costs while at the same time improving overall levels of customer service and both drinking water and wastewater compliance.  

• NI Water is ready to provide engineering solutions to short term constraints where possible. We plan to invest £2.2 billion in total during the PC21 period (2021/22 to 2026/27), with over £1bn being invested in wastewater assets.  However, the full scale of the wastewater capacity issues across Northern Ireland will realistically take at least 12 - 18 years, or two to three Price Control periods, to address. It is therefore critical that the PC21 business plan is fully funded, and all future investments will depend on the provision of funding to NI Water by the NI Executive.

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