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Murphy opens multi-million pound north coast wastewater treatment works

7 November, 2007

Sinn Féin Regional Development Minister, Conor Murphy, MP, MLA, today officially opened the new state-of-the-art North Coast Wastewater Treatment Works in Portrush.

Part of Northern Ireland Water's (NIW) £45million North Coast Scheme, the new works is designed to comply with the strictest EU standards. This will ensure that even at peak holiday periods the North Coast beaches are free from any discharges of untreated wastewater.

Up to 54million litres (54,000 tonnes) of wastewater can be treated at the new facility every day, ensuring wastewater from Castlerock, Articlave, Coleraine, Portstewart and Portrush is treated to the highest standards possible.

Opening the facility, Minister Murphy said: "The North Coast boasts some of the finest beaches in the north and the need to safeguard and improve the quality of local bathing waters here is paramount.

"This £45million investment is indicative of the efforts being made by NIW to raise the standards of wastewater treatment and ensure environmental improvements right across the north.

"Since April this year, NIW has officially opened 11 wastewater treatment works and by 2010 it will have invested a total of £492million in wastewater treatment and collection systems. This will help NIW to meet European standards, respond to increasing demand and ultimately provide the region with a world class modern service."

In addition to the modern new treatment works, the North Coast Scheme included the building or refurbishment of 16 pumping stations; the laying of 25km of new sewers and the construction of a 1200metre long sea outfall.

With no direct discharges of untreated wastewater at any coastal site, the quality of the bathing waters at four of the top beaches in the north - Castlerock Strand, Portstewart Strand, Portrush Mill and Curran Strand - is being greatly improved as a result of this scheme.

Notes to Editors:

The North Coast Scheme was carried out under a partnering arrangement between NIW and Biwater Graham as NIW's joint venture design and build contractors. MWH/RPS acted as joint venture project managers for the scheme and the designers were Scott Wilson.

The new wastewater treatment works at Craigtownmore (between Portrush and Portstewart) has been designed to accommodate residential and commercial growth in the North Coast area to the year 2030.

During the two-year construction period the contractors met weekly with DRD Roads Service and planned all construction work on roads around peak holiday seasons and key events.

A dedicated stakeholder working group met regularly throughout the contract to ensure that councillors and other key stakeholders were furnished with up-to-date information on all elements associated with the contract.

Trenchless technologies were employed where possible for the laying of all pipelines and sewers and all spoil excavated during the construction process has been reused.

As part of the contract, NIW, in consultation with Coleraine Borough Council, integrated new public conveniences and changing facilities into the new Dhu Varren Pumping Station at West Bay, while the roof of the new Lansdowne Pumping Station doubles up as a large viewing platform.

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