NI Water is pleased to announce that it is leading the way with another major sustainable solution to wastewater treatment, which maximises the use of renewables as part of an integrated solution. This £5million investment to upgrade Ballykelly Wastewater Treatment Works will provide a new sustainable wastewater treatment approach, utilising reed beds as part of the treatment process, providing a natural, long-term sustainable and resilient solution. This major investment also includes a 100kW solar energy system to help power the new works with solar energy.
Sara Venning, CEO NI Water said: “As the largest user of electricity in Northern Ireland, we are committed to finding innovative sustainable solutions to water and wastewater treatment that also harness renewable energy to reduce our expenditure on power.
“Ballykelly is one of many sites across the province where we are thinking outside the box, using a natural solution to wastewater treatment, combined with using a solar energy system to help reduce our energy use and carbon footprint.
“As the second largest landowner in Northern Ireland, our assets have the potential to be a catalyst for change across Northern Ireland’s energy and transport networks as a whole.
“This new way of thinking will be explored at our Power of Water event on 3 November planned in advance of COP26.”
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon added: “I am pleased to see progress on this £5 million investment at Ballykelly Wastewater Treatment Works, which will deliver an upgraded treatment works for people living and working in the area.
“This scheme will improve future wastewater services for customers in the area, enhance the local environment and improve local watercourses by using an innovative integrated constructed wetland as an energy free final wastewater treatment filter process.
“Continued investment in the water and wastewater services throughout Northern Ireland is essential to improving this critical infrastructure and these important works will enrich the environment and the lives of citizens in the area as well as supporting economic growth in local development and tourism.
“Over an expected 25 year lifetime, NI Water expects the solar energy system at Ballykelly alone to save the business approximately £400,000. Trees will also be planted on this site, supporting NI Water’s ambitious target to plant one million trees over the next 10 years.
“We need to urgently act to tackle the climate crisis and I commend NI Water for finding both sustainable and cost-effective solutions to reduce its operational impact. This is an example of how we all need to continue to work together across these islands to constantly seek out innovative ways of tackling the climate emergency and implement the necessary changes to address the significant challenges that lie ahead.”
The contractor for this major investment is Maghera-based BSG Civil Engineering in partnership with Belfast-based RPS.
NI Water welcomes the recent confirmation by the Executive that funding for year 1 of our business plan has been secured. We see this positive funding position at the outset of the six year programme as a statement of intent and look forward to the necessary funding being put in place across the six year period to 2027.
The NI Water Power of Water free virtual event will be held on Wednesday 3rd November, 2021 and the report that will issue on the day will describe how we have developed new ways of thinking about how we use energy and how we can harness our natural assets to generate and store power so adding extra resilience to Northern Ireland’s energy system.