NI Water is pleased to announce the completion of phase one a major Flood Alleviation Project to upgrade the sewerage infrastructure and substantially reduce the risk of out-of-sewer flooding in the Marguerite Park area of South Belfast.

Work on this major project commenced within the grounds of Musgrave Park in April 2021 and was recently completed ahead of schedule. BSG Civil Engineering Ltd was appointed as the main contractor for this phase, with Atkins providing Project Management services.

Mark Sefton, NI Water’s Senior Project Manager said:

“The aim of this £8million project, which was funded through the Living With Water Programme (LWWP) which is led by the Department for Infrastructure, was to increase the capacity of the existing network, reducing the risk of out-of-sewer flooding and environmental pollution within the Marguerite Park area. 

“The local community will benefit from the improvements for many years to come, and the completion of phase one will also pave the way for future work in the Sicily Park area.

“NI Water and our project team appreciate that work was disruptive in a busy residential area and would like to sincerely thank the local community and all our stakeholders for their patience and support throughout this essential scheme.”

Phase one involved laying a total of 1.3km new large diameter sewers, which were constructed from the “Grovelands” area of Musgrave Park, through the park grounds, Musgrave Park Hospital, Malone College, crossing under the railway line and through private lands into Diamond Gardens/Marguerite Park and Donegall Park.

800 metres of the new sewers were constructed using underground micro-tunnelling techniques, which included crossing under the main Belfast to Dublin railway line. Tunnelling techniques significantly reduced disruption to our customers, particularly within Musgrave Park/Musgrave Park Hospital and Malone College.

The final section of pipelaying was laid throughout Diamond Gardens, Marguerite Park and Donegall Park.

This £8 million investment is an excellent example of what can be done when the necessary funding is in place. NI Water looks forward to the necessary funding being put in place across its full ‘PC21’ six-year investment period to 2027.

The Living With Water Programme presents how we can work together to deliver integrated sustainable solutions by managing and addressing future flood risk needs across Belfast so that our environment will be enhanced and our local economy can grow.

For further information on Living With Water log on to:

View the project video here:

NI Water’s project team working on the new Ballykelly Wastewater Treatment Works has been awarded the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) NI Sustainability Award. This ICE award is presented to a project that demonstrates sustainability through innovation and is the third award for the Ballykelly project in recent months, with recent wins at the Green Apple Awards and Construction Excellence Awards organised by the Construction Employer’s Federation (CEF).

BSG was the main contractor for the Ballykelly project, with RPS providing project management and technical support.

Receiving the award at the ICE’s recent annual dinner, NI Water’s CEO Sara Venning said:

We are delighted to receive this prestigious award from the ICE, which is the third award for the Ballykelly plant. I would like to pay tribute to the wider NI Water project team for leading the way with sustainable solutions to wastewater treatment.

“The Ballykelly project involved utilising more eco-friendly wastewater treatment approaches, including reed beds and maximising the use of renewables as part of the treatment process. This forward-thinking design will provide a natural, long-term and resilient solution for customers in the Ballykelly area well into the future.

“As custodians of the environment, we are proud of the work completed at the Ballykelly plant, and look forward to continuing a similar approach on other schemes across NI as we continue our ambitions to pursue a net zero sustainable future. The new solar panel system has now been upgraded with the addition of NI Water’s first battery energy storage system, which has now been switched on!

“Developed in-house, this innovative battery system is the first of its kind for NI Water and will bring many efficiency benefits and cost savings to the company in light of rising energy prices.”

The Ballykelly project beat off stiff competition and was shortlisted alongside six worthy projects, which demonstrate excellent community and environmental benefits.

This award showcases some of the current civil engineering projects in the region that are demonstrating excellence in sustainability based on the following criteria: innovation, community and environmental benefit, economy of materials and labour, value engineering, as well as health and safety.

(L-R) Cillian Ward BSG, Sara Venning CEO NI Water, Ryan Murray RPS, Mark Brownlee, Mark Mitchell and Kieran Grant of NI Water pictured picking up the prestigious Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) NI Sustainability Award.

NI Water has an ambitious strategy to address the climate emergency and become carbon neutral by 2050. Find out more at

NI Water is celebrating having been awarded the Silver Diversity Charter Mark by Diversity Mark. The prestigious award recognises the organisation’s ongoing commitment and continuous progress to advancing Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace.  The award recognised NI Water for expanding its Diversity and Inclusion focus into the communities it serves, becoming the first company in Northern Ireland to sign up to the UK governments Levelling Up goals to help drive social mobility and equality of opportunity across NI. NI Water are one of only two public sector organisations to achieve the Silver Diversity Mark.  They now join 12 other leading NI employers who have also achieved this important standard.

Sara Venning, CEO at NI Water, commented:

“Being awarded the Silver Diversity Charter Mark is a proud moment for NI Water, particularly being one of only two public sector organisations to have achieved this standard to date.  The Charter is recognition of how far we have come on our journey to create a culture where everyone is welcome and included, people are valued and respected for who they are and for the contributions they make in delivering what matters to Northern Ireland.

“NI Water is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace and playing our part as a large public sector organisation to support social equality within the communities we serve.

“I would like to dedicate this achievement to the many people across NI Water who play their part each and every day in making NI Water a great place to work.”

Nuala Murphy, Director of Diversity Mark, added:

“Congratulations to Northern Ireland Water on achieving the Silver Diversity Mark Accreditation in recognition for their progress and ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

“The independent assessment panel noted a very high level of dedication, commitment and ownership to the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion agenda across the organisation, championed by real leadership from the top. This has been critical to the level of success and achievements to date.

“We look forward to continuing to support them as they embed their plans in the future.”

Ms Venning concluded:

“We are very proud of all the hard work and dedication that has gone into achieving this challenging standard of best practice. We have come a long way but we have more to do and exciting times ahead to get us to gold!”

NI Water will commence work in early September to install a new storm sewer on a section of Mallusk Road and Hightown Road to serve a sizeable new housing development in the area.

The work will see the installation of 640m of storm water pipe and the construction of associated manholes and will extend from the entrance to Canyon Europe on the Mallusk Road to the new housing development located adjacent to Glen Manor Avenue on Hightown Road.

Work is expected to get underway on the Mallusk Road during the week commencing 5th September 2022 and is expected to be completed within 3 months.

Highlighting the approved traffic management arrangements, NI Water Project Manager, Ian O’Hare commented: “In order to carry out the work as safely as possible, it will be necessary to have a temporary lane closure in place around the pipelaying area. As the works progress along the Mallusk and Hightown Roads, two-way traffic will be maintained with the use of temporary signals.

“In a bid to minimise the impact of these works, our contractor, AG Wilson will undertake the pipelaying work in short sections and reinstate each section of trench as they move along. While it is hoped that this approach will help to minimise traffic queues, we would advise the public to allow extra time for their journeys during this work.

“Vehicular access through a works area will be maintained for residents and businesses, but at times could be subject to delay. Pedestrian access will be available at all times.

“Any bus stop located within a working area will be suspended and a temporary bus stop provided outside the works area accordingly.

“Normal working hours will be 07:30am to 5:00pm; however, it may be necessary on occasions for work to be undertaken outside of these hours.

“Signage to inform the public about these works has been erected and letter drops carried out to local residents, businesses and schools. NI Water would take this opportunity to remind the public that construction sites are dangerous areas for unauthorised persons, especially children, and we would appreciate your co-operation in ensuring that children do not play in or around any site or machinery. Working areas will have warning signs in place to protect the public from any hazards. The public are advised to stay out of these working areas for their own safety.

“NI Water and its project team, Atkins and AG Wilson, take this opportunity to thank the local community and wider public for their patience and cooperation while we prepare to undertake this essential work to support new housing in the Newtownabbey area. We will strive to keep disruption to a minimum and complete the work in the shortest possible timeframe.”

NI Water and the Social Value Unit at the Strategic Investment Board (SIB) shared this message with public, private and third sector organisations at their June 30th 2022 Social Value Supplier Engagement Session.

The hybrid event, which was held at PwC, Belfast and streamed to a live online audience, focussed on the introduction of the new Social Value Policy which outlines that scoring social value in public awarded tenders will now be a mandatory requirement. The event also highlighted the opportunities that are available for the supply chain and the social, economic and environmental benefits that can be achieved, when delivering social value through the life of a contract.

Commenting on the recent introduction of this policy, Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd said:

“I want to congratulate everyone involved in this event. Building social value in to contracts will be critical in delivering real change for people.  I welcome this cross sectoral collaboration and enthusiasm to work together to deliver benefits for people.  We can be an exemplar for change and I would encourage everyone to promote best practice in delivering on our social value commitments.”

Speaking at the event, Ronan Larkin, Director of Finance, Regulation & Commercial at NI Water highlighted,

“This event has given us a great opportunity to engage with key stakeholders on how we can fully embed social value into public awarded contracts. Ronan added, “This is just the start of the social value conversation. Hearing from multiple sectors about initiatives already in place and their future social value strategies has been extremely positive and illustrates a solid level of commitment. It is encouraging to see what these future collaborative partnerships can deliver for people and for communities here.”

In attendance at the event and outlining the main principles of the policy, Esther Barnes, Social Value Advisor said,

“Working alongside NI Water on this event has enabled us to bring the social value policy to life. Engaging with suppliers and third sector organisations is really important to us. We want them to know that we are here to support with this new change in public procurement and this event has enabled us to do just that.” Esther continued, “We are overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and the level of engagement that has been demonstrated and we look forward to supporting the supply chain in putting social value at the core of their business.”

Source to Tap is inviting all farmers, landowners and contractors in the River Derg area to attend a free agricultural contractor fair and information roadshow being held on Thursday, April 28, from 11am to 4pm at Aghyaran Saint Davog’s GAA Club, near Killeter, Castlederg.

This free, informative, event is being organised to allow landowners to meet local agricultural contractors and to offer advice on water-friendly agricultural services such as weed-wiping for rush control and livestock exclusion fencing to prevent riverbank erosion. The event will also share some of the important learnings from the Source to Tap project, that could benefit landowners and farm businesses.

The Source to Tap team will also update attendees on work undertaken on the Land Incentive Scheme in the River Derg catchment.

Supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, Source to Tap is an innovative partnership project that has been working since 2017 to improve the health of waterways in the cross-border catchments of the Erne and Derg rivers.

Through the development of sustainable, catchment-scale solutions, Source to Tap has been working with local communities to develop effective ways to protect rivers and lakes. Source to Tap has also trialled various land management measures in forestry, peatland and agriculture and the outreach programme has been informing the public about their critical role in protecting our waterways.

The agricultural sector has been key to the success of many of the Source to Tap projects and as the program concludes in Summer 2022, this upcoming event on April 28 will help inform future best practices for protecting local watercourses

Everyone is welcome to come along and find out more about protecting the water environment and how such measures can help reduce financial outgoings on the farm.

For more information visit

NI Water is celebrating a decade of one of the largest corporate volunteering schemes in the Province.

Over 1,500 staff have volunteered in 100 challenges to date, equating to more than 10,000 hours of volunteering to help support communities across Northern Ireland.

As part of NI Water’s ‘Cares Challenge’ programme, activities are planned and set up in partnership with Business in the Community’s NI Cares Programme.  The programme identifies organisations and charities within the local community who need a helping hand with physical tasks.

This has allowed NI Water staff to help a wide range of charities over the past 10 years including, Southern Area Hospice, The National Trust, Welcome Organisation, Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary and Foyle Hospice.

In the latest Cares Challenge the NI Water team got to work in the grounds of the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

The team of 15 volunteer gardeners including Chief Executive, Sara Venning, worked together to plant new flowers, clear weeds, trim plants, and paint planters and fences.  All working together to make the garden at Children’s Hospice a perfect place of solace for patients and their families to enjoy and relax in.

Sara Venning, Chief Executive of NI Water, explained: “For more than a decade our dedicated staff have worked alongside charities, schools and community groups to help provide that extra support. 

“These teams of handy helpers have undertaken everything from gardening, painting and maintenance to environmental and fundraising days.  It is often the extra support that these groups require to enhance their facilities, improve the lives of their members and operate their centres successfully.

“Volunteering has also proved to be a key part of our health and wellbeing toolkit.  Our teams gain so much from the experience, not only by helping the community, but also having the chance to spend time with colleagues from around the business that they might not otherwise have a chance to meet.”

Mary McCall, Director of Commercial Brand Development at the Northern Ireland Hospice said: “We were delighted that Northern Ireland Water chose to come here to Children’s Hospice and volunteer in our gardens for the day. The corporate volunteering programme at the Children’s Hospice is a win-win situation for all involved. It allows our business partners to fulfil their corporate social responsibility objectives and our patients get the benefit of their expertise and hard work in the garden.”

Kieran Harding, Managing Director of Business in the Community added: NI Water has shown tremendous commitment to the local community through its decade-long involvement with the Cares Challenge. Employer-supported volunteering enables employees to engage with local communities, charities and community groups, to develop an understanding of their needs, and to pro-actively support the work they do. When employers offer opportunities for staff to volunteer it supports better wellbeing, develops skills, and improves employee engagement – creating a happier, healthier workforce.

“I’m delighted that, via the Cares programme, Business in the Community has been able to support NI Water to help local communities to thrive over the past decade.”

NI Water celebrates a decade of Cares Challenge, one of the largest corporate volunteering schemes in the Province.  In the latest challenge the team of 15 volunteers, including Chief Executive, Sara Venning, worked to make the garden at the NI Children’s Hospice a perfect place of solace for patients and their families.


‘Disrupt or be disrupted’ is the ultimatum being put to delegates at the Institute of Water’s 2019 Annual Conference.

Hosted by Sara Venning, Institute of Water President Elect and Chief Executive Officer of Northern Ireland Water, the conference is titled ‘Disrupt or be Disrupted: how disruption is transforming the water sector’.

Disruption is taking centre stage across the industry and the conference will consider the transformation that is taking place with emerging digital technologies and business models. These innovative new technologies and models, including robotics and automations, will undoubtedly benefit our businesses and change the shape of future customer services.

With global keynote speaker James Honeyborne – creator and Executive Producer of the renowned award-winning BBC Blue Planet II, the conference will explore disruption to the environment and the role of plastics within the water sector. We will also look at the importance of reputation within our organisations and how we can attract the best talent in the sector.

NI Water Chief Executive, Sara Venning said:

“Esteemed business expert, Sir John Parker will lead us into the conference, which will consider how the demands of the water industry are constantly evolving and will take a glance into the future to see how technological advances can improve our responses and bring benefits to our customers, as well as environmental considerations.”

“I’m very excited to welcome Blue Planet’s creator James Honeyborne, as well as globally renowned leading disruption expert Leo Johnson and technology expert Oliver Rees who will take us through the changing nature of the workplace. We have an excellent speaker line-up over the two days and look forward to announcing more information very soon.”

“I’m really looking forward to welcoming delegates to the wonderful city of Belfast in June for the conference events where we can all learn, create and share our ideas for the future.”

Water sector professionals are invited to come along for the latest industry thinking, digital technologies, environmental and reputational issues, mixed with a social programme that’s not to be missed.

Lynn Cooper, Institute of Water Chief Executive said:

“I’m delighted to be returning to Belfast where we can be sure of a very warm welcome. Sara has assembled an excellent mix of speakers from inside and outside the industry that will challenge the current thinking of the water sector and I’m confident that our Conference will once again have something to offer anyone with an interest in the water industry.”

The three-day conference takes place on 26th – 28th June 2019 and will be held at the Titanic Belfast. The Institute of Water’s Annual General Meeting and Meet the Leaders events will be on the 26th June, followed by the full conference on the 27th and 28th June.

Bookings are now open and people are encouraged to book early to secure the best deals on travel and accommodation and to ensure they don’t miss out on any of the specialist sessions or speakers. Flights to Belfast are regular with short flight times and operate from most UK airports.

Places can be booked online now by going to

Don’t forget to book your place at our associated conference events…

Institute of Water AGM – Book here.

National President’s Dinner and Awards – Book here.

Meet the Leaders – Book here.

Z-Tech Social Night – Book here.

Young Persons Network Launch – Book here. 

The conference and associated events are supported by Visit Belfast.

Never been to an Institute of Water Conference before? Watch our video to get a flavour of what to expect.

NI Water is pleased to announce the final phase of a £3million water trunk main between Ally Hill Service Reservoir (SR), on the outskirts of Lough Bradan and Doochrock and Drumkeeran SRs near Ederney, as part of a multi-million pound investment to improve and safeguard the local water supply.

The replacement trunk main, which transports drinking water from Ally Hill Service Reservoir near the Bradan Road and continues on to Doochrock and Drumkeeran Service Reservoirs – is a £3 million investment into safeguarding the local water supply, which is due for completion in May 2019.

Pipelaying work will be completed on the Drumierna and Drumcullion Roads before Christmas and will continue in January 2019 on the Castlederg Road and in private lands. Pipelaying will also take place in Lough Bradan Forest in the New Year in close cooperation with Forest Service.

To ensure that pipelaying is undertaken in the safest possible manner along the roads, NI Water’s contractor, BSG Civil Engineering will need to implement temporary road closures including a road closure on the Tirmacsprid Road. This closure will be publicised and signage will be in place in the New Year as the work progresses.

Paul Davison, NI Water Project Sponsor said:

“This larger diameter trunk main is being laid to provide a more robust means of transporting water from Lough Bradan Water Treatment Works to a number of Service reservoirs in the area, including Doochrock, Drumkeeran, Largy and Drumharvey, which in turn supply much of the North/North West and East of Fermanagh.

In the 2017/18 financial year NI Water has invested £10.6 million in key water and wastewater projects which will improve services for our customers in the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area.”

 Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Councillor Howard Thornton added:

“The council welcomes this major investment to secure the water supply in the local area. This is good news for local customers through improved security of supply, particularly during emergency situations and winter weather.”

NI Water and BSG Civil Engineering would take this opportunity to thank residents and the wider public for their patience and cooperation while we undertake this work which will accommodate future water supply demands and provide resilience during difficult operating conditions. Customer queries should be directed to Waterline on 03457 440088.





NI Water is delighted to announce the completion of the current schedule of repairs on the 100-year-old Mourne Wall.

This most recent phase of the Mourne Wall Restoration Project saw over 600 repairs undertaken along the 22mile-long granite structure – including a 27m collapse on Slieve Bernagh – as well as extensive path works. The project, which was originally estimated to take four years, was completed in less than two. Geda Construction was the contractor on this major project working in partnership with local stonemasons and RPS.

Hand built by the Belfast Water Commissioners between 1904 and 1922 to mark and protect the 9,000-acre water catchment which feeds the Silent Valley and Ben Crom Reservoirs, the wall has been a listed building since 1996 and today is in the ownership of NI Water.

Speaking about the recent restoration project Paul Harper, NI Water’s Director of Asset Delivery said:

“As part of NI Water’s commitment to the ‘Protocol for the Care of the Government Historic Estates’, we undertook surveys along the entire stretch of the wall during 2016 and set in place funding for a programme of wall and path repairs to get underway on 2017.

 Less than two years on, I am delighted that this initial phase of work has been successfully completed. I would like to thank Mourne Heritage Trust, NIEA, National Trust and Trustees of Mourne for their guidance and assistance throughout the project and pay tribute to the strenuous efforts exerted by the contractors and wider project team in reaching this milestone so quickly. 

While this phase of restoration has been funded through NI Water’s current capital works programme, we are aware that the wall may suffer further deterioration in the future. NI Water is committed to undertaking subsequent surveys and, subject to funding, carrying out repairs during the next 6-year capital works programme which commences in April 2021.”

Working through all types of weather, the team hiked up to 6km a day to carry out the repairs. Fortunately, for the bulk of the restoration work, the stone was lying adjacent to the wall. Missing capping stones – weighing up to 120kg each – were sourced from local quarries and donated by the National Trust, transported to site by helicopter and rolled into placed using age-old methods.

In addition to the wall repairs, an extensive length of path works were undertaken in conjunction with Mourne Heritage Trust (MHT) to future-proof the restoration work and protect the integrity of the wall.

Martin Carey, Chief Executive of MHT said:

“The Trust’s accumulated knowledge of upland path works enabled us to work with NI Water to design a repair programme that we’re confident will make sections of the Mourne Wall corridor on Slieve Donard robust into the future. Accordingly, as well as preserving the integrity of the wall’s foundations, the path works will protect a wide corridor of European designated heathland that was undergoing loss due to ever-widening erosion scars as visitors tried to find a ‘walkable’ route. With almost 90,000 journeys recorded on our pedestrian visitor counter on Slieve Donard – and this figure showing an upward trend year on year – it is vital that such works are undertaken to sustain the access to Northern Ireland’s highest peak that is valued by so many.”

Chris Hazzard MP said: 

“Since its commencement in April 2017, the Mourne Wall Restoration Project has caught the attention of the wider public with the project featuring in the recent BBC ‘Chronicles of Mourne’ series. I welcome the completion of this project and congratulate all the team involved.”

 Cllr Mark Murnin, Chairman of Newry, Mourne & Down Council commented:

“The Mournes are popular with tourists, hill walkers, expedition groups, day trippers and many more. The iconic granite wall not only provides shelter to walkers, but it is also a recognised navigation route – often referred to as “the handrail”.  

“The council is delighted that this much-loved historic asset has been carefully restored and paths along Slieve Donard reinstated to provide environmental protection and facilitate walking tourism in this beautiful scenic area.”