Work continues at Drumaroad plant

Work continues at Drumaroad plant

14 July 2021

WORK on a £13m upgrade of the Drumaroad water treatment plant is on course to be completed by the autumn.

Confirming the news, Northern Ireland Water said the major investment is designed to improve the security of the local water supply.

The organisation’s project manager, Mark Richardson, said the multi-million pound project will bring many improvements to customers.

He revealed that the upgrade involves the construction of a new water storage tank which, once operational, will have a capacity of over 35 million litres, providing additional water supply to customers, particularly during emergency situations.

Stormont infrastructure minister, Nichola Mallon, said the multi-million pound investment highlights the impact investment in our infrastructure can have.

“This major plant treats water from the Silent Valley reservoir which delivers around 140 million litres of water every day to over 200,000 homes in Co Down and Belfast,” she continued.

“Once complete, this will have a positive impact on the lives of up to 540,000 people, a quarter of the Northern Ireland population who can benefit from increased resilience and security of the water supply. This will make a real difference to people’s daily lives.”

The new water storage tank will serve the existing Drumaroad and Chapel Hill pumping stations to supply treated water to the distribution areas. An additional pumping station will also be constructed to transfer water flows outside of normal operating conditions.

Graham is the main contractor for the Drumaroad project, with RPS providing project management and technical support with NI Water insisting that the investment is an excellent example of what can be done when the necessary funding is in place.

The company says its goal is to ensure there is a modern, efficient service today and in the future. “While chronic underfunding of NI Water is an urgent issue, we are working hard at a local level to find solutions to enable local councils and developers to progress their vision and facilitate future economic development,” said the organisation.

“The message is clear, NI Water is ready to provide engineering solutions to short-term constraints where possible. However, we must face the inescapable reality that the full funding identified by the Utility Regulator in its Final Determination (PC21 business plan) is required to fulfil the vision of economic expansion for our towns and cities.”

NI Water says it welcomes the recent confirmation by the NI Executive that funding for the first year of its business plan has been secured. 

“We see this positive funding position at the outset of the six year programme as a statement of intent and look forward to the necessary funding being put in place across the six year period to 2027,” the organisation said.

“This is not a ‘wish list’ or a ‘nice to have’; this is the plan that will help us ensure NI Water can deliver in a strong, modern regional economy.”