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£1.8m NI Water upgrade at Lower Woodburn Pumping Station to protect bathing waters

22 August 2023 9:25

 | NI Water News

NI Water will next week commence a £1.8m programme of work to upgrade Lower Woodburn Wastewater Pumping Station (WwPS), located off the Belfast Road in Carrickfergus.

The extensive upgrade will see a complete overhaul of the existing underground pumping station with additional stormwater storage and screening facilities installed to provide environmental protection and reduce the risk of out-of-sewer flooding. The significant NI Water investment, which is being carried out as part of the Living With Water in Belfast Plan, will modernise the facility, support future development and help enhance the water quality in Belfast Lough.

Explaining what will be involved in the upgrade, NI Water project manager, David McClean, said: “Most of the work will take place within the confines of the pumping station site, where the existing underground tank will be increased in size, new valve chamber constructed and new screen installed. The existing building will be refurbished to house new mechanical and electrical equipment with other ancillary works undertaken to fully modernise the facility.

Lower Woodburn WwPS is located adjacent to a council-owned beach access lane which will need to be closed to facilitate the work. David continued: “There is limited space on site to locate the required machinery and carry out the construction work, while keeping the existing pumping station operational. For health and safety reasons, and in agreement with the local council, our contractor, Murphy Dawson WAM JV will close the adjacent beach access lane to cars and pedestrians while the main construction works are ongoing.

“Deliveries of materials will be required on a regular basis as there are no means of stockpiling materials at the site. A banksman will be on site to direct lorries coming into the site off the Belfast Road. As far as possible, deliveries will be planned outside of peak hours. Work is expected to get underway at the end of August 2023 and be completed in May 2024. Signage will be in place and a letter drop has been carried out to residents and businesses in the vicinity of the site. The beach access road will be reopened as soon as practicably possible.

“NI Water and our project team from TetraTech and Murphy Dawson WAM would like to acknowledge the valued support of the local council and thank the public in advance for their patience and cooperation as we prepare to undertake this essential upgrade. The team will strive to minimise the impact of these works on the local community and deliver these improvements in a safe, efficient, and timely manner.”


Notes to Editors:

  • The Living with Water in Belfast Plan was published 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. The geographical scope of the Plan covers the whole of the Belfast City Council area, as well as lands that are within four other local council boundaries: Lisburn & Castlereagh City, Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough, Mid & East Antrim Borough and Ards & North Down Borough. This is to ensure that flooding and water quality issues can be addressed in the optimum way to cover the drainage areas of each of the six WwTW that discharge into Inner Belfast Lough. More information can be found at

A few key points to remember:

  • Remember wipes will clog the sewers and result in blockages and flooding – never flush a wipe. For further information log on to

  • Beware of Bogus Callers – if you are concerned about the identity of someone at your door, you can call the PSNI non-emergency number ‘101’ where you will have the option of a ‘Quickcheck’ to confirm the caller is from the utility they say they are.

  • Do not let children go near work sites or equipment, this can be extremely dangerous.

For further information, please email

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