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McIlveen – Excellent progress on £464,000 Sustainable Wastewater Treatment Scheme in Castle Archdale

08 March 2016 14:52

(L-R) Regional Development Minister Michelle McIlveen, Dermott McCurdy NI Water Project Sponsor, and Barney McEldowney Contract Manager BSG Civil Engineering Limited.
Regional Development Minister Michelle McIlveen was on site recently to see an innovative new £464,000 Integrated Constructed Wetland (ICW) at Castle Archdale, County Fermanagh.

The Castle Archdale site is the second ICW to be constructed by NI Water and represents an eco-friendly fully sustainable approach to wastewater treatment in the area. This project is on schedule to be operational by the end of March 2016.

ICWs are designed, built and operated through human technology and are based on processes that occur naturally within indigenous wetlands providing an environment where the interaction of the wetland and the plants themselves clean the wastewater. The investment has seen the construction of a series of shallow treatment ponds which when planted will treat wastewater from the Castle Archdale area. While the ICW will be operational in March, it is anticipated that rapid plant growth will continue over the forthcoming spring and summer period.

Michelle McIlveen said: “Progress on this sustainable project is very impressive. This scheme is an excellent example of how the challenge of dealing with wastewater can be met using an innovative engineering approach which provides added benefits for, and complements, the local indigenous ecosystem.

“The ICW solution has been developed on natural treatment processes. This is the second occasion that this method has been used in Northern Ireland and it is an important and significant step towards the development of more environmentally-friendly solutions to wastewater treatment throughout Northern Ireland.”

The new wetland can accommodate seasonal fluctuations in flow and is therefore ideally suited to the Castle Archdale area. The ICW method has an established record in Europe of providing a low cost, low energy and low maintenance alternative to mechanical wastewater treatment. NI Water believes that this natural environmentally-friendly solution will accommodate the future development needs of the Castle Archdale area, while promoting a natural ecosystem.

Dermott McCurdy, NI Water’s Head of Wastewater Capital Delivery added: “NI Water is pleased to be able to improve wastewater services for customers in the Castle Archdale area through sustainable projects like this. The new ICW will deliver improved wastewater treatment, whilst creating an aesthetically-pleasing area, rich in biodiversity, and potentially an educational resource.

“NI Water will continue to liaise with the local community throughout this programme of work and look forward to implementing this new approach to wastewater treatment in the area.

“This innovative scheme is also providing a welcome boost to the local construction industry, with the work being undertaken by Maghera-based BSG Civil Engineering and its chain of local sub-contractors and suppliers.”

The Department, NI Water and our contractor BSG Civil Engineering are grateful to users in Castle Archdale for their continued support and patience while work continues on this project.

Customer queries should be directed to Waterline on 03457 440088, quoting “BSG Civil Engineering – Castle Archdale ICW”.

Notes to editors:

1. The wetland design is based on the ICW approach pioneered by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Ireland. There are many examples of ICWs throughout Ireland, one of the most well-known being at Castle Leslie, Glaslough in County Monaghan.

2. The Castle Archdale ICW contains just over 13,000metres² (3.25acres) of wetland ponds with around 8,500m² of gently sloping embankments and gravel paths.

3. Wastewater flows from the settlement pond through the densely planted treatment ponds under gravity flow. As the water progresses through each pond it becomes cleaner as pollutants are naturally removed.

4. Altogether the wetland planting comprises around 20,000 plants of emergent species within the treatment ponds and settlement ponds; native trees along the perimeter of the site and grass seeding, the most prominent plant species within the ponds are Iris pseudacorus (yellow iris), Glyceria maxima (reed sweetgrass), Typha latifolia (cattail) and Carex riparia (greater pond sedge).

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