CASE STUDY // Working

Fofanny Water Treatment Works

Newcastle, Co. Down


Fofanny Water Treatment Works


Newcastle, Co. Down


Northern Ireland Water

Contractor / Lead Consultant

Farrans/Earthtech | McAdam Design




Fofanny is Ireland’s only underground water treatment plant. It is highly innovative in both concept and execution. There were also important aesthetic considerations, given the plant’s location in a major tourist destination. We were involved in site appraisal and survey, liaising with civil engineers and architects, ecologists and foresters; and producing planting and seeding proposals. The primary aim of the landscape proposals was to restore the site to match the existing surroundings.


In practice this meant:
  • as far as possible, areas of semi-natural vegetation and features such as dry stone walls were left undisturbed
  • new stone walls, earth banks and hedges were introduced to restore a typical field pattern of the area
  • self-supporting, low-maintenance, semi-natural vegetation was established, including grassland and areas of blanket bog vegetation, and gorse heath seeded
  • ecologists advised on species choice, harvesting seed from local ASSIs, seed mix and soil mix trial panels, and “hydroseeding” to sow out the roof of the main structure
  • an additional 4,000 container-grown heathers were planted
  • stands of broadleaf woodland planting have been introduced in key locations to screen the new building, access road and service yard
  • mixes include fast-growing “nurse species” like alder and willow, slower growing “climax” species such as oak and ash, and shrubby species such as holly and thorn


Right from the outset of the project, all minds were completely focused on ‘innovation’. Not only was the design seen as pioneering but also the construction techniques, processes and procurement routes were to be delivered in a way that would shape the future of construction in Northern Ireland.


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2 Kilmood Road, Killinchy
Newtownards, BT23 6SB
Northern Ireland

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