IN a first for Northern Ireland, harmful, smelly wastewater is being transformed into something more life-giving at a ground-breaking treatment plant near Coalisland.
The Drumkee Willows Wastewater Treatment plant recycles effluent by using a green oasis of planted willows on neighbouring land.
Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy has visited the works to see first hand the innovative scheme.
Northern Ireland is a leading region within the British Isles in terms of researching, trialling and proving the concept of this environmentally sustainable technology.
It is hoped this natural technology will provide NI Water with a robust reliable solution for the cleaning and treatment of wastewater in other rural areas, and provide significant benefits in terms of reducing capital expenditure, carbon footprint and environmental sustainability.
Providing a natural filter system, the wastewater passes through the willows and is cleansed of impurities. The willows also provide important, diverse habitats for a wide range of wildlife.
Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy said: “I welcome this forward-thinking approach in not only the cleaning and treatment of wastewater, but also in helping to reduce NI Water’s carbon footprint.”