Waterworks celebrates 100 years of service

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THE ‘Waterworks’ at Castor Bay outside Lurgan celebrated 100 years of service in 1994.

The Department of Environment Treatment Works as it was known was officially opened in June 15, 1894, by Mrs Malcolm, wife of the chairman of Lurgan Borough Council.

In its infancy it provided three million litres of water a day to homes and industries within Lurgan Borough.

But consumption had exceeded output even by the mid 1930s, necessitating the works’ upgrading by replacing the slow sand filters with pressure filters which were to remain in service until the late 1940s.

In 1949 Lurgan and District Waterworks Joint Board was formed.

Chemical treatment was introduced and output was increased to 14 million litres a day.

The biggest expansion scheme of all came about with the acceptance by the government of Sir Robert Matthew’s proposals for the creation of the new city of Craigavon.

A major extension was needed to allow development of the new city and the work, completed in stages between 1972 and 1979, increased capacity to 73 million litres a day.

Early in 1991, following a reassessment of the requirements for treated water within the Water Executive’s southern division, engineers were appointed to design and supervise a further upgrade of the works.

This would increase the capacity to 93 million litres a day and would cost £2.7 million.

The work was due to be completed by the end of the year and it was also planned that further substantial expenditure would be made on the remaining stages.

The proposals would continue the progressive development seen during the 100 years.