News / 7th October 2019

NI Water marks completion of £5m sewer upgrade & reopening of Bankmore Square Park

NI Water is pleased to announce the completion of a major £5 million project which involved the upgrade of major sewers within the Ormeau Avenue/Lower Ormeau Road, Dublin Road, Bruce Street, Sandy Row and Joy Street areas of Belfast.

The project will play a major role in facilitating further development within this area of Belfast City Centre.  It will also reduce the risk of out of sewer flooding, minimise blockages within the existing sewers, while improving water quality in the River Lagan.

Some of the sewers within this area dated back to the late 1800’s and were in very poor condition.  In addition to the upgrade of the existing sewers in the area, the project included the construction of a new underground Wastewater Pumping Station within an existing car park in Hardcastle Street.

At the height of construction, shoppers and commuters on Great Victoria Street and the Dublin Road were oblivious to the fact  a large sewer was being tunnelled right under traffic and pedestrians at a depth of 2 double decker buses!

Sara Venning, NI Water CEO, said:

“We are delighted to have completed this significant investment within this area of Belfast City Centre. This has been a challenging project and we are pleased to have delivered the benefits of reduced flood risk and environmental improvement, whilst also providing additional capacity to support economic development within this area of the city.

“Just last week, we called for further investment in our water and sewerage infrastructure. The growth of Belfast City, the primary economic engine of Northern Ireland, will struggle unless the £1bn investment in strategic drainage, under the Living with Water Programme, is supported. The City Deal risks not realising its full potential. Put bluntly, no drains means no cranes. The Ormeau project is an excellent example of what can be done when the necessary funding is in place.”

 John Finucane, Lord Mayor of Belfast, said:

“Belfast City Council welcome this significant investment by NI Water in Belfast City Centre.  It will help our city to flourish and allow for an increase in development which is essential for the future economic development of our city. We support NI Water in its quest for continued investment in our sewerage infrastructure, which will help the population, the economy and the natural environment thrive and develop over the next 25 years.”

 NI Water fully appreciates that these works were disruptive, and would like to take this opportunity to thank businesses, residents and road users for their continued patience and cooperation during the completion of this major construction project.  We would also like to thank the Linen Quarter Bid for their assistance in liaising with businesses in the area throughout the construction programme.


For further information, please contact NI Water’s Press Office on 02890 354710 or email


Pictured (left-right) are: Julie Thompson, Deputy Permanent Secretary, DFI, Lord Mayor John Finucane and Sara Venning NI Water CEO.