The site is renowned for its sandy beach and the Royal County Down Golf Club. The Newcastle Waste Water Treatment Works (WwTW) is now set for a major upgrade in order to meet future European Union standards and further improve the town.
The upgrade illustrates the major investment from Northern Ireland water to improve water standards and meet future EU directives. The extensive project supports the £6 million package of infrastructure and network improvements already undertaken by NI Water in Newcastle. When fully complete, these upgrades will ensure that the sewerage infrastructure in Newcastle operates in accordance with EU directives as set by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).
The contract for the project was awarded in November 2011 to a local joint venture partnership between Dawson-Wam and Ovivo, who are global leaders in wastewater treatment solutions. Work began onsite in January 2012 and the project is scheduled for completion by May 2013.
The project has four main aims: to achieve compliance with future EU standards, to provide a flexible design to cater for future flows and seasonal changes, to minimise the impact on the community and the environment, and to deliver the best value for money construction.
The multi-million pound upgrade will incorporate an extension to the existing treatment works in order to house: a secondary treatment stream, storm storage facilities, an inter-stage pumping station, UV disinfection, a replacement standby generator and other ancillary equipment including the main control panels.
With consent already granted by Crown Estates, the additional space will be added to the south side of the treatment works, along the coastline in an area owned by NI Water.
A vast refurbishment programme will also take place inside the existing treatment works. All of the existing treatment streams will be completely refurbished so that the treatment works remains operational at all times.
NI Water and their contracting partners Dawson-Wam Ovivo are aware of the environmental sensitivities associated with the location of Newcastle WwTW, especially as it is on the town’s coastline. The project team has developed a robust Environmental Management Plan to ensure that all possible measures are taken to protect the integrity of the surrounding area.
Both noise and vibration will be monitored to ensure that they are well within the levels dictated by Down District Council’s environmental health guidelines. In terms of sustainability, all of the material excavated from the site will be reused in the construction of the new extension. In addition, local suppliers will be employed wherever possible for the delivery of imported materials.
Once the project is complete, Newcastle Waste Water Treatment Works (WwTW) will meet projected European standards, in the process benefitting the community for future generations.