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Biwater Graham Joint Venture (JV) has developed a solution based on an activated sludge process to improve the Downpatrick WWTW wastewater treatment plant.

Downpatrick WWTW is an existing treatment plant serving a population of 28,000 situated in an environmentally sensitive area adjacent to the River Quoile, 35km south of Belfast.

Northern Ireland Water commissioned major improvements to the existing plant to ensure it met the stringent discharge standards set by the Environment and Heritage Service, along with the capacity to serve the projected population growth.

The solution was originally tendered as a membrane bioreactor plant.

However, the Biwater Graham Joint Venture (JV) produced an alternative solution based on an enhanced activated sludge process, offering increased operational flexibility and maximising reuse of existing assets.

The scope included nutrient reduction, new inlet works, primary settlement, replacement of the aeration system, additional final settlement tank capacity, tertiary filtration, sludge handling, P-dosing, odour control, storm tank improvements and process automation.

Throughout the construction process there were a number of challenges the Biwater Graham JV team faced such as: maintaining the treatment work’s effluent standards; continuation of business for Northern Ireland Water’s operations staff; access for haulage tankers at all times; and ensuring P-removal targets were achieved ahead of schedule.

All challenges were overcome and, as such, areas including the replacement of existing aerators, the routing of mains pipes through existing roads and the accelerated ferric dosing plant installation (ahead of programme) were completed in close collaboration with all stakeholders.

Biwater Treatment

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