NI Water are set to begin work on a major upgrade of the water drainage system on Foyle Street this summer.

The drainage system along Foyle Street was installed in the 1920s and consists of one combined egg-shaped rain and wastewater combination sewer system that is no longer suitable for the needs of our ever-growing city. Currently, NI Water say the system requires regular maintenance including extensive de-silting.

NI Water’s plans include the separation of the combined rainwater and wastewater system on Foyle Street between Shipquay Place and Water Street to help alleviate odour issues in the area and assist development, which is something we can certainly get behind.

Once the new drainage system has been laid, connections will be carried out at each of the properties along the upgraded network. NI Water have also stated that to prevent future disruption in this part of Foyle Street, they will replace the existing water main – which dates to a similar period as the drainage system. This means the area will benefit from a modern water and wastewater network, allowing this part of our city to realise its full potential, and businesses along the street to grow and continue to deliver for their clients.

To ensure the city’s transport network is not disrupted, Translink will be using the Foyle Street carpark as a temporary bus facility from later in the summer, until September 2025. NI Water are set to hold an open information event for members of the public before the main work begins, with details yet to be confirmed.

This work will of course cause some disruption, but we are pleased to see that NI Water have consulted with the many stakeholders in the area including the local businesses who call Foyle Street home to ensure that disruption is minimised while this crucial work takes place. While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when development is discussed, a modern wastewater treatment system capable of taking on extra capacity is crucial to onboarding the type of business development and infrastructure we wish to see built in our city centre and we here at Chamber are very excited to see the results once the works have been completed.