The City of Newry is situated some 35 miles south-west of Belfast at
the northernmost end of Carlingford Lough, where the Clanrye River/Newry Estuary enters the sea. Newpoint WwPS, situated off the Warrenpoint Road, is the terminal pumping station for the city. This means that all flow from Newry and surrounding area arrives at Newpoint WwPS before being passed on to Newry Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW) located at Greenbank Industrial Estate.
Continued catchment growth and excessive flows arriving at the pumping station currently present a significant pollution risk and a potential barrier to achieving EU Water Framework Directive ‘good’ water quality status for the Newry Estuary and Carlingford Lough.
Newpoint WwPS is currently equipped with three wastewater pumps that transfer flow (approximately 500 litres per second) 1km to Newry WwTW, as well as four storm pumps that pump storm water flows to two storage tanks within the WwPS site.
Under the SWELL project, new coarse screening equipment will be provided to protect the existing pumps from blockages and potential loss of wastewater to the adjacent Newry River. Fine screening apparatus will also be provided on the storm tank overflow to provide further protection to the river during periods of prolonged heavy rainfall.
Construction of underground chambers to house the new mechanical screening equipment represents a significant engineering challenge given the restricted site area, extremely poor ground conditions and the need to deal with existing high wastewater flows. Early contractor involvement was utilised to develop appropriate temporary and permanent works designs. These include for the application of sophisticated construction techniques such as sheet piling cofferdams, dewatering systems and piling installations to overcome the challenging conditions.