First Pipe is Laid on £2.4m Water Supply Project

Water experts from international consultancy, WYG are assisting in the creation of one of the largest water mains in Northern Ireland as part of Northern Ireland Water’s (NI Water) £2.4 million project to improve water supply across Belfast City. WYG has been appointed as designer to Lagan Construction on the Belfast Cross Town Water Main project.

The project involves a 2.8km water main extension between Barnett’s Park and the reservoir at Newtownbreda and the lining of 1.1km of 39” steel distributor main along the Annadale Embankment.

“NI Water has invested £2.4m in this project to improve the water infrastructure and reduce the risk of leakage in the Belfast area. The scheme will benefit the local community and forms a critical element of strategic water supply between Castor Bay at Lough Neagh and Belfast,” says Gary Curran, NI Water project sponsor.

The 900mm diameter water main is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Ireland. Once operational, it will provide the link between Dunore Point Water Treatment Works across the city to Purdysburn and Breda Service Reservoirs. The scheme involves high pressures, complex valve arrangements, a River Lagan crossing and reconfiguration of reservoir connections, providing the existing and future residents and businesses of East Belfast with surety of supply in accordance with EU Directives.

“Route selection and design of restraint systems for large diameter pipework operating under high pressure has presented many technical challenges which have been successfully resolved using innovative geotechnical construction methods,” explains Ernie Spence, associate water engineer at WYG Ireland.

NI Water, which is the sole provider of water and wastewater services in Northern Ireland, is in the midst of an extensive capital investment programme with £281 million invested during 2008/09 in improving network and treatment facilities. In addition, £200 million in value has been invested in new and upgraded water and wastewater treatment works through NI Water’s Public Private Partnerships since June 2006.

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