NI Water has confirmed that a major £1.4 million pumping station and sewer upgrade in Armagh has finally been completed a year-and-a-half on.
Work started in May 2019 and involved upgrading the sewerage infrastructure in the west of Armagh City, including Navan Street, Drelincourt Close and Irish Street.
The project also involved the construction of a more modern, reliable replacement wastewater pumping station (WwPS) at Killylea Road, which will help increase the capacity of the sewerage network in the area.
The improvement work will significantly reduce the risk of out-of-sewer flooding and will bring environmental improvements by enhancing the water quality in the Callan River.
Lisa Hughes, NI Water’s Senior Project Manager, said: “NI Water is delighted to announce the recent completion of this major improvement scheme.
“Our services have never been more essential to the health and wellbeing of our customers than now, and this scheme will benefit customers throughout West Armagh.
“This was a challenging job over a period of 15 months, however we are confident the work will improve the local sewerage network which will reduce the risk of future problems.
“On behalf of NI Water and our contractor BSG Civil Engineering, I would like to thank local residents, businesses and commuters for their patience and cooperation throughout this essential scheme.
“It is our hope that the local community will see the benefits for many years to come, as the scheme will increase capacity in the local sewerage network and lead to environmental improvements, including reducing the risk of flooding and improved water quality in the Callan River.”
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: “I am delighted with the completion of these works, as I am very much aware of the increasing issues at both wastewater treatment works and in the sewer network across Northern Ireland.
“This work will reduce the risk of out-of-sewer flooding and increase the capacity of the sewerage network in the area. That is good news for the local economy and for development in the area.”
An NI Water spokesperson added: “The investment at Killylea Road is a great example of what can be done when there is sufficient investment in our water and wastewater infrastructure.
“In the PC15 business plan period (2015 to 2021) the total investment in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council will be around £60.5m; for our next business plan period PC21 (2021-27), NI Water has identified an investment requirement of approximately £168.5m (subject to adequate funding and prioritisation in PC21).
“This money is needed for two things; firstly, to maintain and keep the existing water and wastewater assets in the council area running and secondly to address identified capacity and potential environmental issues.
“The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted how vital clean water and sanitation are to society. We cannot maintain a modern day economy and a healthy and thriving population without a properly funded water and wastewater service.
“We need the drains and the cranes for economic recovery and a flourishing natural environment.”