NI Water Hosts Visit to Dundrum Wastewater Treatment Works
25 April 2023 11:20
Photo caption: (L-R) Angela Halpenny NI Water, Cllr Alan Lewis, Patrick Brown MLA, Cllr Hugh Gallagher, Colin McGrath MLA, Steve Blockwell and Keith Henderson (both NI Water)
NI Water recently hosted a visit for local Elected Representatives to Dundrum Wastewater Treatment Works. This followed a meeting with Newry, Mourne & Down District Council attended by NI Water in January 2023.
Angela Halpenny, Head of Environmental Regulation said: “NI Water was delighted to host local elected representatives at Dundrum Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW), where our operational staff gave a tour of the works, and we outlined NI Water’s current approach to planning applications within the village.
“We are pleased to confirm that we have recently received an updated Water Order Consent from our Environmental Regulator – the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA). This has enabled us to lift the development constraint which relates specifically to the Wastewater Treatment Works; therefore, it is not currently envisaged that additional capital investment will be required at the WwTW.”
However, the constraints within the sewer network in Dundrum will remain until the upgrade of two key Wastewater Pumping Stations in the village; Flynn’s and Keilty’s WwPS have been completed.
These projects will address two Combined Sewer Overflows which are classified as Unsatisfactory Intermittent Discharges by NIEA. Once complete, these upgrades will reduce the likelihood of out of sewer flooding and spills to the environment. Our engineering team is finalising the designs for the upgraded pumping stations, which are currently programmed to be completed in Spring 2025, subject to all statutory approvals being in place, and a successful land acquisition outcome.
Over the shorter term, the lifting of the development restriction on our WwTW will allow our Solutions Engineering Team to work with developers to identify opportunities for alternative drainage solutions where possible i.e., stormwater off setting. This innovative approach may facilitate development ahead of the delivery of the sewerage infrastructure investment. However, any such solutions would be developer led and funded.
Steve Blockwell, Head of Investment Management said: “NI Water is facing many challenges, not least of which is continued funding during our PC21 period (2021/22 -2026/27), to allow us to continue to operate our critical services as well as deliver on our ambitious capital investment programme.
“Due to historic underinvestment in our Water and Wastewater services, development constraints exist in many of our cities and towns, both within our Wastewater Treatment works and sewer networks. While continued long term investment is the key to unlocking many of these constraints, NI Water continues to work closely with developers to find bespoke engineering solutions where possible to address these constraints in the short to medium term.
“Early engagement with NI Water by developers can expedite the planning process, whereas without prior consultation the only option available to NI Water may be to provide a refusal response to the Planning Authority and request for the developer to consult with its Developer Services Solution Engineering Team. Together, we will endeavour to find a solution.”
Steve Blockwell concluded: “The message is clear. NI Water is ready to provide engineering solutions to short term constraints where possible. It is planned to invest £2.2 billion during the six-year 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.”
“Everyone in the Dundrum village can play a role in helping to avoid blockages, unsightly pollution and keeping our sewers flowing, by not flushing inappropriate items. We are pleased that our Elected Representatives support our 3Ps message to only flush pee, poo and paper.”
Notes to Editors:
• PC21 Business Plan Fast Read is available to view: click here
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