Belfast Completes $5.5 Million Sewer Upgrade Project

(UC) — NI Water has completed a $5.5 million (5 million euro) upgrade of major sewers within the city center of Belfast, Northern Ireland, to reduce flooding and improve water quality in the River Lagan.

(photo: NI Water)

The project involved major sewers within the Ormeau Avenue/Lower Ormeau Road, Dublin Road, Bruce Street, Sandy Row and Joy Street areas of Belfast.

It will play a major role in facilitating further development within this area of Belfast City Centre, officials said.

"This has been a challenging project and we are pleased to have delivered the benefits of reduced flood risk and environmental improvement, whilst also providing additional capacity to support economic development within this area of the city," said Sara Venning, NI Water's chief executive.

Some of the sewers within this area dated back to the late 1800’s and were in very poor condition. In addition to the upgrade of the existing sewers in the area, the project included the construction of a new underground Wastewater Pumping Station within an existing car park in Hardcastle Street.

At the height of construction, shoppers and commuters on Great Victoria Street and the Dublin Road were oblivious to the fact a large sewer was being tunnelled right under traffic and pedestrians at a depth of two double decker buses, NI Water said.

“Belfast City Council welcome this significant investment by NI Water in Belfast City Centre. It will help our city to flourish and allow for an increase in development which is essential for the future economic development of our city," said John Finucane, Lord Mayor of Belfast. "We support NI Water in its quest for continued investment in our sewerage infrastructure, which will help the population, the economy and the natural environment thrive and develop over the next 25 years.”

NI Water has called for an additional $1.1 billion (1 billion euro) investment in the city's water and sewage infrastructure to support Belfast's continued growth.

"The City Deal risks not realising its full potential. Put bluntly, no drains means no cranes," Venning said. The Ormeau project is an excellent example of what can be done when the necessary funding is in place.”

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