Over the past six years NI Water has invested a total of £15 million making improvements to over 75 miles of sewer network across Northern Ireland.
Some £9 million has been invested on essential sewer improvement work, which is part of an ongoing programme to reduce the risk of out-of-sewer flooding and blockages, as well as strengthening parts of the sewerage network which are in very poor condition.
An additional £6 million has also been invested to address emergency and urgent sewer repairs to prevent collapse, alleviate localised flooding, and address environmental pollution.
The rolling programme of sewer improvement work identifies the highest priority areas through analysing the history of blockages and flooding and undertaking CCTV surveys of the existing sewers.
In the past six years, works have been completed in key areas right across Northern Ireland, and more recently in the likes of Culmore and the wider Londonderry area, Randalstown, Antrim, North Coast, Ballynacor, Downpatrick, Newtownards, Comber, Newtownstewart, Enniskillen, Coalisland, Tandragee, Richhill, Gilford, Markethill, Waringstown, Donaghcloney, Carrickfergus/Whitehead, Newry and Warrenpoint.
This work included:
n Surveying and cleaning of over 100km of combined storm and foul sewers;
n The trenchless relining of 22km of existing sewers; and
n The replacement of around 2km of existing sewers.
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: “The Sewer Improvement Programme continues to improve the sewerage infrastructure for customers in areas across the North, while enhancing the local environment and reducing the risk of out-of-sewer flooding.
“NI Water is using innovative new technologies to minimise disruption for customers and also ensuring investment is targeted where it will have most impact.
“The right infrastructure will improve people’s lives. Continued investment in the water and wastewater services throughout Northern Ireland is essential to improving this critical infrastructure.
“These important works will enrich the environment and the lives of citizens in the area as well as supporting economic growth in local development and tourism.”
NI Water’s Project Manager Robert McLean added: “We are delighted to mark a successful six years on this rolling programme of work, which will benefit customers across Northern Ireland by improving the sewer network, reducing blockages and the risk of out-of-sewer flooding. This work is essential to future-proof the sewer network for our customers and prevent future problems.
“The majority of these works have been undertaken using underground trenchless techniques, which significantly reduces the duration and disruption of the works at various locations.
“Current works are ongoing in the following locations, where customers will benefit from the improvements: Newry, Keady, Bushmills, Portrush, Maghera, Loughgall, Londonderry, Ballymena, Sion Mills, Augher, Strabane, Castlederg, Belleek, Donaghadee, Lurgan, Banbridge, Newtownards, Ballynahinch and Belfast.”