This €35m EU-funded project aims to improve the quality of water in Carlingford Lough and Lough Foyle through the upgrade of wastewater assets on both sides of the border. The project’s legacy will be the development of a unique ecosystem model that will support further improvements in these shared waters.

White Half Eclipse Intersection

WHAT IS THE SWELL PROJECT?

The SWELL project represents a cross-border partnership comprising NI Water, Irish Water, Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Loughs Agency and East Border Region, working collaboratively to improve water quality within the shared waters of Carlingford Lough and Lough Foyle.

The partnership will utilise best practice, innovation and knowledge sharing to effectively achieve the outputs and results of the INTERREG VA Programme. Through engineering excellence, strategic catchment investigation and modelling, SWELL will deliver sustainable upgrades to wastewater assets on both sides of the border and make a positive contribution towards ‘Good Ecological Status’ under the EU Water Framework Directive.

The SWELL project is being funded under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The ERDF contribution to this application is €29.8m (85%) with €5.25m (15%) being made available through match funding from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in Northern Ireland and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG) in Ireland.

Canoeing Sea Shells
Carlingford Catchment Map

carlingford lough

It is approximately 15km long and 3.7km at its widest point. It covers an area of 50km2 with an associated drainage catchment of approximately 475km2 . The Newry (or Clanrye) River is the main freshwater flow into the lough.

The Sites

3d models of sites

3D Model of Donemana

Donemana Wastewater Treatment Works


A detailed analysis of the catchment conducted for the SWELL project estimates that the existing works currently receives wastewater load from a population equivalent (PE) of 1,031. Whilst this means the works is operating at its full design capacity, it is achieving compliance with its current consent conditions for treated effluent. However, a recent condition assessment, carried out as part of a SWELL feasibility study, indicates that the main process tanks and mechanical & electrical elements are at the end of their useful life and in need of replacement to prevent further deterioration in treatment capability. High levels of NI Water operator input are also required to maintain compliance and the single process stream, coupled with a lack of redundancy in the process, reduces flexibility to deal with peak loads and could pose an increased pollution risk in the future.

  • This solution at Donemana was chosen based on its capability, flexibility and reliability to serve the catchment needs over a 25-year projection horizon.
  • The robust treatment process will enhance the quality of discharge to the Burn Dennett River and therefore contribute to improving the water quality at Lough Foyle
  • In turn, this will assist in achieving EU Water Framework Directive ‘Good’ status at both Lough Foyle and the Burn Dennett River

our funders and partners

Department of Agriculture
Match Funder

Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs


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Department of Housing
Match Funder

Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government


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NI Water
Partner

Northern Ireland Water


Northern Ireland Water is a Government-Owned Company (GoCo), set up in April 2007 to provide water and sewerage services in Northern Ireland. That involves the supply of 560 million litres of clean water a day for almost 1.8 million people as well as treating 320 million litres of wastewater a day. NI Water is lead partner in the SWELL project. NI Water will deliver the programme of capital upgrades in Northern Ireland and working closely with project partners, will ensure the project is delivered in the most effective, efficient, sustainable and strategic way possible.

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NI Water
Partner

UISCE: Irish Water


Irish Water is Ireland’s national water utility responsible for providing water and wastewater services throughout Ireland. From coast to coast, Irish Water ensures delivery of the highest quality drinking water to customers’ taps every day and ensures that wastewater is properly treated and safely returned to the environment. Irish Water is working closely on a cross-border basis with the SWELL partners to improve water quality in our shared waters by delivering upgrades to the wastewater network in Ireland and supporting the delivery of a legacy model.

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NI Water
Partner

East Border Region


EBR have extensive experience of working on cross-border, EU-funded projects and will play a very specific role in the SWELL project with responsibility for ensuring all partners comply with all INTERREG rules and procedures, thus reducing the risk to the Lead Partner.

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NI Water
Partner

Agri-food & Bioscience Institute


AFBI is a leading provider of scientific research and will undertake specialist scientific investigation and complex modelling for the SWELL project.

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NI Water
Partner

Loughs Agency


A North-South co-operation body, Loughs Agency’s role is to promote the development of the loughs with respect to aquaculture, fishery and marine issues. Together AFBI and Loughs Agency will provide resources for undertaking the catchment studies and associated analysis to include the ‘legacy’ ecosystem model.

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