Tuesday 26 September 2017 07:18:11 PM

£2.5 Million Waste Water Treatment Works For Ardglass
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NI Water has confirmed that work on a new £2.5 million wastewater treatment works (WwTW) for Ardglass will get underway at the end of April.

But a debate sparked up at an information meeting held in Ardglass Golf club as residents of Killough, Coney Island, Dundford and Ballyhornan were angered that their areas were not being integrated into the improvement scheme as they said had been initially indicated by NI Water.

Curran Welcomes Investment to WWTW in Ardglass

At the meeting to launch the Ardglass WWtW were NI water officals and residents from Ardglass and surrounding communities with Councillors Dermot Curran, Cadogan Enright and Liam Johnston.

At the meeting to launch the Ardglass WWtW were NI water officals and residents from Ardglass and surrounding communities with Councillors Dermot Curran, Cadogan Enright and Liam Johnston.

Speaking following the meeting in Ardglass, Councillor Dermor Curran (SDLP) said that he was delighted that the works are going ahead at last. “I have lobbied for many tears for this day and now we can move ahead. It will ultimately make a huge difference to the Ardglass village area. At the moment house building and  commercial development in Ardglass is badly restricted.

‘Now we wil be able to move ahead and ensure that Ardglass is fit for purpose. The fishing industry has had to pay a heavy cost for the poor waste water system and one fish processor has had to pay tens of thousands of pounds to have filters introduced to his system.

“Hopefully with this infrastructural improvement we will now see further investment in the fishing industry.

“We can address the individual needs of the outlying areas of Killough, Coney Island, Ballyhornan and Dunsford in the future. There is just not enough money in the government pot to complete an area system. We can address these areas in future funding rounds

“Over the years I have been called out many times in Ardglass to homes where sewage had been coming back up through the system and now this will be sorted out for the better.”

Johnston Says Community and Industry Will Benefit

Councillor Liam Johnston (Sinn Féin) also welcomed the progress on the Ardglass WWtW and aded that he was delighted that the opportunity now has come to se more building in Ardglass. “Many young families are in need of decent housing and this improvement to the WWTW will help alleviate the situation in the longer term. The population of Ardglass is young and it is growing.

“Aslo I think that there will be huge benefits to the fishing industry which needs all the help it can get at the moment. It is a slow process getting these projects completed but we are making some progress.”

Enright Questions Lack of Input for Lecale Area

Councillor Cadogan Enright (Independent) has expressed his concern at the lack of integration that has taken place in the Lecale area coastline area with the development of WWtW’s. Following the meeting held at Ardglass Golf Club, he said: “I have examined the large part of the County Down costal sewage system development and whilst I welcome improvements to the Ardglass system where are huge gaps in the overall system that have not been fully addressed. I think it is just too little too late.

“It seems that the Gold Coast of North Down has been fully integrated in its new WWtW system linking many of the smaller communities to Bangor. The Ardglass system is standing alone and it leaves pockets such Strangford, Ballyhornan, Coney Island, Killough and Ballykinler on their own.

“Campaigns have been running for many years to address this and now at the end of the day we are having a second class system. This impacts on teh quality of life and on tourism and the commercial world. For example, Ballyhornan will be getting a WWtW in a years time which will process to a primary level which means basic screening only of effluent. I presume this will be pumped into the sea. It just seems to me that the Lecale coast is losing out.”

The NI Water Briefing

Giving a briefing to local councillors and MLA’s, Kieran Grant from NI Water’s Engineering Procurement unit said that the modern new treatment works, which will be constructed on a greenfield site adjacent to the existing WwTW off the Sheepland Road, will be able to cope with the combined domestic and trade population equivalent (PE) of 7,600 for Ardglass up to the year 2020. This is  five times more than the existing plant was originally designed for.

Mr Grant explained: “The original Ardglass Wastewater Treatment Works was constructed approximately 40 years ago to deal with a population equivalent of 1,500. However, expansion in local housing and industry over the years has resulted in a substantial increase in sewage flows coming into the works, with the current PE in the region of 6,000. This, coupled with more stringent discharge standards being set by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), has led to the need to replace the existing works with a larger, more modern facility.”

Giving details on the capabilities of the new WwTW and the longer-term benefits the development will bring to the Ardglass area, Mr Grant said: “The site for the new treatment works, an extended area of the existing WwTW site, will house state-of-the-art infrastructure to facilitate preliminary, primary and secondary treatment as well as storm water storage facilities. The extended treatment process will provide a more robust solution and ensure a cleaner discharge to the Irish Sea in line with NIEA requirements.”

Talking about the future, he further explained that the larger area of land acquired provides NI Water with enough space for further additional treatment units to be installed should they be required in the future.

Commenting on the construction programme for the new Ardglass works and the operation of the existing facility, Mr Grant said: “The contract for the construction of the new Ardglass WwTW has been awarded to Maghera-based BSG Civil Engineering who have  years of experience in building similar facilities right across Northern Ireland. All construction work will be carried out within the extended site and all excavated materials will be reused within the site as far as is practicably possible. The existing WwTW will remain operational until the new facility is commissioned in summer 2014.”

The project team also informed councillors that a thick landscaping belt of native planting would be undertaken right around the new treatment works to help screen it from any neighbouring properties and that local suppliers would be used where possible during the contract to help boost the local economy.

100 Sites Completed Under Multi-million Rural Wastewater Programme

Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy has announced that 100 sites have been completed under NI Water’s Rural Wastewater Investment Programme.

The programme, which has been specifically designed to upgrade rural wastewater treatment systems serving populations of up to 250 people, has been running since 2008, and by the end of March 2014, will have seen an NI Water investment of approximately £30 million.

Bill Gowdy Director of Engineering Procurement NI Water, Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy, and Trevor Haslett Chief Executive of NI Water.

Bill Gowdy Director of Engineering Procurement NI Water, Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy, and Trevor Haslett Chief Executive of NI Water.

Welcoming the completion of 100 sites under the programme, Danny Kennedy said: “NI Water’s Rural Wastewater Investment Programme was set up to deliver widespread refurbishment of some of the 900 minor wastewater works that span the length and breadth of Northern Ireland, and I am delighted to see that the project is progressing well with the achievement of the “100 sites” milestone.

“It is a testament to the team working on the project that it has also made 30% capital efficiencies over the last four years. This means that NI Water is delivering three sites under the programme for the cost of two.

“Each project represents a significant investment in modernising wastewater treatment in rural areas to bring about environmental benefits for local communities, and I look forward to continued progress on this essential project.”

With another year of the current programme still to go, rural areas will continue to benefit from this ambitious NI Water project, which has already brought environmental improvements to all corners of Northern Ireland. From Kilmood in Co. Down to Kinawley in Co. Fermanagh; Camus in Co. Tyrone to Carrickrovaddy in Co. Armagh and from Glack in Co. Londonderry to Glarryford in Co. Antrim, NI Water has designed and implemented bespoke state-of-the-art wastewater treatment systems to replace ageing filtration units and septic tanks, which over the years have become increasingly ineffective.

Trevor Haslett, Chief Executive of NI Water commented: “This project is both complex and logistically challenging, but the rewards are far-reaching in terms of improved water quality in local rivers.

“I am delighted with the progress the team has made to complete 100 sites and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our partners in getting us to this stage of the programme. The latest technology that has been used has already brought many environmental benefits, as well as facilitating future local development.

“The scale of the project has required extensive work in rural areas and often in private lands. We would like to take this opportunity to thank local people affected for their patience throughout this extensive programme of work.  I know the local communities will enjoy the benefits of this work for many years to come.

“We are looking forward to continuing to work with our two teams of specialist local contractors: A joint venture of BSG Civil Engineering (Maghera) and Williams Industrial Services (Mallusk) – with technical support from McAdam Design in Belfast. We also welcome the opportunity to work with other local companies in the supply chain and will continue to develop new technologies and processes that will benefit wastewater services for our customers.”

Other Sites in County Down Being Developed

Gransha Road WwTW (Comber)

Pinehill Road WwTW (Drumbo)

Kilmood WwTW (Kilmood, Killinchy)

Maghera WwTW (Maghera, Newcastle)

Silverford Road WwTW (Banbridge)

Savalmore Cottages WwTW (Saval, Newry)

Ballycoshone Road WwTW (Hilltown)

Katesbridge Road WwTW (Katesbridge)

Ballyward Road WwTW (Ballyward)

Corbet WwTW (Corbet, Banbridge)

St. Mary’s Terrace (Cabra)

Monteith WwTW (Katesbridge)

Knock Terrace WwTW (Rathfriland)

Attical WwTW (Attical, Kilkeel)

Leitrim WwTW (Castlewellan)

Lisowen WwTW (Crossgar)

Thorney Glen WwTW (Crossgar)