£30m in capital necessary to address Derry drainage and waste water deficit and facilitate social and economic development

Almost £30m of capital funding is needed for waste water and sewerage improvements critical to Derry’s social and economic development, it’s been confirmed.

Nichola Mallon, the Infrastructure Minister, outlined the investment NI Water needs from the Executive to engineer modern systems on both sides of the Foyle.

She was asked about the level of planned investment by Foyle MLA Martina Anderson who is concerned a failure to modernise the water network could hold up major housing and road projects in Derry.

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“The Minister knows that there is a lack of capacity in Derry. Some 3,000 homes in Skeoge need sewerage capacity and are being delayed as a consequence of that. What plans are in place to accelerate that work?

The busy Buncrana Road.

“‘No drains, no cranes; no cranes, no drains’, as some say, whatever that is all about. In the Infrastructure Committee, we know what it is all about. We are very aware of the need for waste water sewerage capacity in Derry,” said Ms. Anderson.

According to the minister NI Water estimates it needs close to £30m to tackle capacity pressure points at Culmore and Strathfoyle as well as drainage works along the Buncrana Road and at the Skeoge lands.

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“Northern Ireland Water has advised that it completed an analysis of its waste water investment plans for the Foyle constituency at the end of last year.

“That investment will require the Executive to provide capital funding of approximately £29 million.

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“The planned improvements will target capacity issues in the Culmore waste water treatment works network, including a £12 million investment in the upgrade at Strathfoyle and nearly £5 million investment in the Culmore waste water treatment works itself.

“To service new growth, approximately £9 million is associated with new sewerage infrastructure investment for the Skeoge lands along the A2 Buncrana Road, which Northern Ireland Water is seeking to align with the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) Roads A2 upgrade scheme,” she stated.

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NI Water has committed to significant investment in Derry’s water and waste network as part of its 2021-27 capital programme.

Several capacity issues have been identified across the Derry City and Strabane District Council area and senior NI Water officials have repeatedly warned that the body was significantly underfunded during the 2015-2021 Price Control period.