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NI Water Appoints Specialist ‘One Team’ For Extensive Upgrade of Belfast Wastewater Treatment Works

03 August 2023 11:46

Belfast Wastewater Treatment Works | NI Water News

NI Water has successfully achieved a key milestone with the appointment of the delivery team for the significant upgrade of Belfast Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW), as part of the Living With Water in Belfast Plan.

The ECI (Early Contractor Involvement) contract for the major project has been awarded to an integrated team comprising Kier-Bam (civil contractor), Stantec (civil engineering design consultant) and MWH Treatment (process contractor).

Making the announcement, Sara Venning, NI Water’s CEO said: “NI Water is delighted to drive forward its elements of the ambitious Living With Water in Belfast Plan with the appointment of this specialist team for the extensive upgrade of Belfast WwTW, which is located in Duncrue.

“These industry experts, who have many years’ experience in the water sector worldwide, will work collaboratively under an ECI contract with NI Water and our local project management consultants, McAdam Design, as ‘One Team’ to develop a sustainable and robust solution that will ensure the works can help support a growing economy for decades to come. Following the successful completion of the important ECI phase in 2024, it is intended that the Phase 1 construction will get underway, subject to planning.”

Phase 1 will comprise a six-year programme of work as part of the Living with Water in Belfast Plan. It follows a recently completed Phase 0 interim upgrade, which included the construction of two new treatment tanks that have a volume equivalent to six Olympic-size swimming pools.

Speaking about the next phase of work, Sara continued: “The integrated team is currently working through an optioneering exercise to develop the most cost-effective and efficient designs, which will centre on the re-use of most of the existing assets within the confines of the existing site.

“These designs will more than double the capacity of the original treatment works and ensure the city’s wastewater treatment needs are met well into the future. Members of Belfast WwTW One Team will liaise with the relevant authorities and local community on the project and any planning requirements going forward.”

The Belfast WwTW upgrade – which is due to get underway mid 2024 - forms an integral part of the Living with Water in Belfast Plan, which aims to deliver a long-term approach to drainage and wastewater management that will help protect the community from flooding, provide a cleaner and greener environment and ensure Belfast remains open for business and investment.

Adrian Black, NI Water’s Project Manager for Belfast WwTW added: “Due to constraints in investment over the past 20 years, many parts of the wastewater and drainage infrastructure serving greater Belfast are now having to operate at or over their original design capacity. Belfast WwTW plays a crucial role in supporting the city’s myriad of businesses and households on a daily basis and NI Water has been working hard to ensure that current Northern Ireland Environment Agency standards can be met.

“This major project will safeguard the future operation of the treatment plant, ensuring that Belfast WwTW can support a healthy environment, improve water quality in the River Lagan and Belfast Lough and sustain a growing economy. The upgraded treatment plant will also support the development of much-needed homes and help boost job creation within the construction industry.

“As we move forward with developing designs for the WwTW improvements, we will work closely with the local community and other stakeholders ahead of work commencing at the Duncrue site in mid-2024.”


Photo Caption: (L-R) Adrian Petticrew Kier-Bam, Narinder Sunner Stantec, Sara Venning CEO NI Water, Stephen Harding McAdam Design, and Tom Standring MWH Treatment.

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Notes to editors:

The Living with Water in Belfast Plan was launched in November 2021. The Plan outlined how around £1.4 billion is required over the next 12 years to provide the 21st century drainage and wastewater systems needed to protect against flooding, enhance the water environment and provide the increased capacity needed for economic growth. Delivery of the Plan involves a number of Partners, including DfI, DAERA, NI Water, NIEA and Belfast City Council working together to deliver sustainable catchment-based solutions.

Contained within a site area of around 180,000 square metres (almost 2 million square feet) within Duncrue Industrial Estate, Belfast WwTW was built in 1998 to replace the original Victorian works which dated back to the early 1900s.

The treatment works was designed to treat a domestic and trade population equivalent of 290,000, with an allowance for redundancy. By utilising all available process redundancy and extensive manpower, Belfast WwTW has been able to treat a load that is 40% greater than it was designed for. The Phase 0 extension has provided additional capacity at the treatment works to meet the needs of the city in the short-term.

Pending approvals, Phase 2 of the improvements at Belfast WwTW will follow Phase 1 and will include provision of an additional treatment stage to help meet water quality requirements specifically relating to aquaculture and shellfish. The exact scope and investment for Phase 2 works are still to be determined.

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