The new series celebrating the achievements in Northern Ireland of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the occasion of their 200th anniversary continues on Monday 20th August at 8pm on UTV.
The fifth episode of ‘Ulster Giants’ is all about water and the various ways in which it has been collected, stored and treated before being delivered to our homes and workplaces.
Joe Mahon begins the story at the huge, and hugely impressive, Hunt’s Park Water Tower in Donaghadee. Long abandoned as a source of domestic supply, this massive concrete structure, built in 1912, is still an iconic landmark and a reminder of a bygone era.
Joe interviews civil engineer Emer Murnaghan who outlines its history and explains its importance in engineering terms as the first ever “expanded metal” construction in the country.
His next port of call is the water treatment works at Dungonnell Dam in the Antrim Hills. Joe interviews Derek McKane of NI Water, who demonstrates the operation of the dam and takes him on a tour of the bewildering number of processes our modern water supply has to undergo before it is deemed fit for human consumption. “After watching this you’ll never take tap water for granted again!” Joe promises.
Civil engineer Alan Cooper then directs our attention to the innovative construction of the actual dam itself – the first to be built using asphalt, and employing many of the same construction methods you would find in road-building! Alan rounds off with some insights into the general history of dam-building in this country and relates how civil engineering has developed its own code of ethics over the 200 years since the foundation of the Institution of Civil Engineers.