Wastewater extension projects for Ringsend and Dublin

Pictured: Ringsend Wastewater treatment plant.
Photo by Ferg Hayden.

The Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Works currently deals with the exit of sludge for the greater Dublin region. It also recycles some of the sludge as bio-solids for use as fertiliser.

However, this facility will see a significant increase in the volume of its waste by 2040 due to the general increase in bio-solids in the Dublin region due to population increase, according to Irish Water’s National Wastewater Sludge Management Plan.

Currently, the plant is stressed to deal with the volume of waste it is experiencing. It will be a highly significant issue by 2040 and it will therefore be necessary to upgrade it.

Although the upgrade will permit the facility to deal with an increased volume, it will not be possible for it to manage all of the increase and it is already struggling to cope with its current volume.

Currently there are legal issues surrounding executing this decision, namely from Sandymount and Merrion Residents Association (SAMRA). However, in their Stage 1 and Stage 2 reports, Irish Water consider this upgrade essential. Furthermore, this report makes clear that an additional facility will be necessary to cope with the extra sludge.

The reports deal with the site selection and methodology they used to chose the site in addition to how it will work in tandem with the facility in Ringsend. At present, Irish Water’s Stage 2 Report – Identification of Potential Sites has been published and a five-week consultation is being held from 11 May, 2017 to 15 June, 2017.

Irish Water are seeking feedback on the five sites identified and the proposed criteria that will be used to select the preferred site as detailed in the Stage 2 Report.

The intention is that 80% of the new waste generated will be going to the new facility instead of the Ringsend facility. The bio-solids generated by these plans will be transported to a new site, which will act as a regional storage facility for Dublin and parts of surrounding counties of Kildare, Meath and Wicklow.

The sites being considered are: Bracetown/Gunnocks, Co. Meath; Gunnocks, Co. Meath; Greenogue, Co. Dublin; Newtown/Kilshane, Dublin 11; Kilshane, Dublin 11. Irish Water are inviting the public and interested parties to submit their views in relation to these sites.

According to an official statement from Irish Water, the upgrade of the Ringsend Wastewater Facility and the new regional facility “will provide wastewater treatment for greater Dublin for the next 25 years and Irish Water intends to lodge planning applications for both projects in late 2017 or in early 2018.”

The Ringsend and newer facilities will work in tandem with the Regional Bio-solids storage facility as part of the National Wastewater Sludge Management Plan. The final application by Irish Water to An Bord Planála is in early 2018.

By Kevin Mac Sharry