Councillors back new sewer connection

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COLERAINE councillors have backed a scheme for a new sewer connection at Craigahulliar landfill site, which will save council £100,000 per year.

Kieran Doherty, Corporate Director of Environmental Services, revealed at present council effluent at the site is currently being tankered away.

“Craigahulliar is an engineered site where the principle methodology in protecting ground water from contamination is the separation of storm water and leachate through an engineered solution,” said Mr Doherty at last week’s Leisure and Environment meeting.

“The leachate is collected and treated before disposal while storm water is diverted directly to a storm drainage system and eventually to sea.

“Collected effluent is subject to some primary treatment on site before being tankered to a designated NI Water discharge point in Coleraine. This service is costing in the order of £100,000 per year. The site at Craigahulliar is not connected to the main public sewerage network.

“This process has been revisited recently by Council, establishing via carrying out a capacity check on the existing sewer from Craigahulliar village to Portrush (costing £3.5K) that capacity did exist. The other challenge to overcome, was with regard to the quality of the effluent that NI water effluent team would accept.

“The challenge of effluent quality can now be satisfied with our new leachate treatment and storage plant. This new installation has the additional benefit of 600 m3 storage, which gives us the control to discharge at agreed NI Water’s requirements.

“The cost of extending the existing NI Water public sewer from Craigahulliar village to Council’s landfill site entrance - has been quoted by NI Water at £53,585.00 – Council would also have the additional cost of fitting a drain (gravity – not pumped) from our 600 m3 leachate storage plant to the entrance of the site at a cost of £9,500.00. – Total cost £63,085.00 - which represents a payback at 2/3 of a year and a subsequent annual saving of £100K (or £1m over 10 years).”

Alderman Norman Hillis welcomed the news. “I propose we accept the recommendation to proceed with this scheme,” he said.

“There are not many things which pay for themselves within a year, which is good news for the rate payers.

“The road network around Craigahulliar is very poor so it will be great to take heavy vehicles off the road as well as being greener for the environment.”

Ald Maura Hickey echoed Ald Hillis’ sentiments saying it was ‘great news for ratepayers’.