Header Wave

Killea Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade


Killea lies directly on the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and is approximately 3km from the River Foyle. The Killea Wastewater Treatment Plant (WwTP) agglomeration is centred around the R237 Letterkenny to Derry Road and treats wastewater from housing in the surrounding area.

Existing wastewater treatment

The wastewater collection and treatment infrastructure in Killea currently suffers from a number of deficiencies, as follows:

  • The existing wastewater treatment plant is hydraulically overloaded due to the pumping regime currently in place, and as a result the plant is non compliant with its Wastewater Discharge Licence.
  • The lack of assimilative capacity in the receiving waters has resulted in stringent Emission Limit Values (ELV) being imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 31st December 2019, particularly in respect of ammonia and ortho-phosphate. The current WwTP will not be capable of achieving these standards, even if hydraulic flows to the plant are properly managed.

Need for upgrade

Killea WwTP is overloaded and needs to be upgraded to meet the needs of the town and to protect the environment.

There is a need to improve the wastewater treatment here so that the receiving water is not impacted. The size of the wastewater treatment plant needs to be upgraded as well as the level of treatment.

The works being carried out under the SWELL project will ensure that wastewater is treated and discharged in compliance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations.

The upgrade works are also needed to increase the treatment capacity of the plant to allow for future economic development and improved water quality in the town and surrounding areas.

Killea Location


  • Increased treatment capacity of the plant to meet current needs of the town; allow for future growth and reduce the impact of storm water overflows
  • Improved water quality of Liberty Burn, Lough Foyle and nearby coastal areas.
  • Protecting the environment from pollution, ensuring that wastewater is treated and discharged in compliance with EU regulations.

What the upgrade will involve

The Swell Project Waves

In order to overcome the current deficiencies, the following infrastructural upgrades will be delivered at the Killea WwTP:

» Construction of a new 850 Population Equivalent (PE) wastewater treatment plant on the existing site providing secondary treatment, with nitrification and phosphorus removal. This will entail development of a new inlet works, storm water holding tank, secondary biological treatment process and final settlement tanks, new control building and new sludge thickening facility.

» The existing treatment system is to be decommissioned.

» Storm water storage capacity is to be constructed at the WwTP rather than at the pumping station where space is limited.

Lough Foyle

When will the works take place?

We are currently at the design phase of the project. It is expected that construction will start in Q3 2020 with works complete by the end of 2021.

Progress Of Works

The Swell Project Waves

Click to access the login or register cheese