What a Waste

What a waste

Over the last year, the Sandymount and Merrion Residents’ Association (SAMRA) have been campaigning against a proposed expansion of the Ringsend Waste Water Treatment Plant on Pigeon House Road.

SAMRA secretary Sarah Staunton spoke to NewsFour and informed us of the negative effects the association feel this expansion will have on the area. She calls the proposed method a “Victorian solution to a 21st century problem” as it relies on practices developed over a century ago.

Staunton explains to us the three levels of water treatment, “The primary level just takes out the sludge and leaves you with dirty water,” she says, “The secondary level, as proposed here, leaves you with water you wouldn’t drink as it contains phosphates and nitrates.” The tertiary level, which is employed in cities like London, New York and San Francisco, is Staunton’s favoured method as “all impurities are removed, making the water drinkable.”

Along with the effects on the ecology of the bay, SAMRA fears the expansion will cause major inconveniences in the area for several years with 24-hour tunnel works disrupting locals’ enjoyment of the adjoining amenities, including the nature park.
SAMRA’s goal is to have Dublin City Council change their plan for an outdated secondary level treatment facility to the more modern tertiary method. They also believe the current plans will see the Ringsend plant treating too much water for its capacity and therefore would like to see the workload shared with other plants in the Greater Dublin area.

Since raising their objections, SAMRA have been engaged in several court hearings that have proved expensive. Over €20,000 has been spent to date by the group and that figure will continue to rise. To help with the costs, SAMRA have been holding various fundraising events in the locale.

Just before going to press, NewsFour received the announcement that SAMRA had lost their court challenge, with Justice Peter Charleton ruling in favour of the plant extension, however he did acknowledge SAMRA’s objection was not frivolous and for this reason costs were not awarded against the residents’ group. SAMRA will now consider their options regarding any further action in this matter.

To keep up to date with the campaign or to see how you can become involved, visit www.samra.ie

By Eric Hillis