Cleaning up Belfast Lough for the Living With Water Programme

As part of our long-term appointment to the Northern Ireland (NI) Water Professional Services Framework, our Belfast Water engineering team is currently retained to provide a range of services to improve the water quality in Belfast Lough by appraising and recommending upgrades for some of the wastewater treatment works (WwTW).

The Living With Water Programme (LWWP) was established by a range of stakeholders, including NI Water, to develop a strategic drainage infrastructure plan for Belfast and provide enhancements to the six main WwTWs that discharge into the Lough. NI Water is adopting a modelling approach that treats the catchment area as a single ecosystem with ecological, marine, sewerage and pollution work packages thoroughly integrated, and with open collaboration between consultants central to the working method.

To support this interdependent approach, a recent team-building event brought together several of the organisations involved, to clean-up the shoreline around Hazelbank Park, a public space adjacent to the Lough. The Tetra Tech team from the Belfast office were keen to participate, collecting litter along the shoreline and enjoying a barbecue with their new colleagues.

Paul Cooke, Tetra Tech Associate Director, said: “We are really excited to be involved in this major project in the heart of Northern Ireland. It behoves us to make sure that we do not leave behind us a legacy of pollution and environmental destruction for future generations. We are privileged to be involved, in some small way, in contributing to an improved environment for our children. It was great to meet other team members at the recent beach clean and to be involved in a tangible way in tidying up the foreshore.”

In the longer term, we will be reviewing the existing WwTW facilities and recommending on currently available or emerging treatment processes most suitable to deliver the requirements of the programme. We are also retained to provide environmental studies and reports and help in preparation of internal and external business cases for project approvals.

Risk assessments have identified Belfast as a significant flood risk area and NI Water has established core strategic objectives of protecting against flooding and enhancing the water quality of Belfast Lough. We are already involved on other projects to transform Belfast’s aging drainage system, including a £5m scheme to improve sewerage infrastructure along the Ormeau Road, and provide the increased drainage and wastewater treatment capacity that the city needs to flourish.

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