New storage capacity needed to facilitate future economic and social growth

Irish Water has announced an important new project to develop a Regional Biosolids Storage Facility for greater Dublin including parts of Kildare, Meath and Wicklow.

The new storage facility will be part of the upgraded wastewater treatment infrastructure that will facilitate the continued growth of this region. The consultation beginning today invites the public to comment on Irish Water’s proposed approach to identifying and assessing potential suitable sites for the new storage facility. No sites or locations have been identified at this stage.

The quantity of biosolids generated nationally is expected to increase significantly by 2040 as new and upgraded plants are completed to treat our wastewater. Biosolids are a by-product of the wastewater treatment process and contain high levels of nutrients including nitrogen and phosphorus. They are used in agriculture to fertilise the land during the planting seasons each Spring and Autumn. For the rest of the year, biosolids need to be stored.

In the coming years, the quantity of biosolids being produced at the greater Dublin’s wastewater treatment facilities is expected to be greater than we can store at the moment. Developing regional biosolids storage facilities is one of the key objectives of Irish Water’s National Wastewater Sludge Management Plan published in 2016. This plan sets out a long-term approach to managing sludge produced in the wastewater treatment process. The plan recommends that, biosolids storage facilities be developed where appropriate to serve a number of local plants or a wider regional need.

Speaking at the launch of the first round of public consultation, Donal O’Connor, Project Manager for Irish Water, said “Irish Water is progressing a strategic solution to manage wastewater treatment for greater Dublin in the future. This includes upgrading all existing treatment facilities and adding the new wastewater plants and networks recommended by the Greater Dublin Strategic Drainage Study.

The new Regional Biosolids Storage Facility is an important part of our future wastewater infrastructure for greater Dublin and will support continued growth in the region. When a site is identified it will be included in the planning applications for both the upgrade of the Ringsend wastewater treatment plant and the proposed new Greater Dublin Drainage project between which we will provide wastewater treatment for greater Dublin for the next 25 years. Irish Water intends to lodge planning applications for both projects within the next 12 months.”

This first round of public consultation on Irish Water’s proposed approach to identifying and assessing potential suitable sites for the new regional biosolids storage facility takes place over the next four weeks until Thursday, 2 March 2017. You can find out more information by emailing or visiting our Regional Biosolids Storage Facility page.

Following this round of consultation the project team will review all submissions received and feedback will be considered before identifying a number of suitable sites. Once identified, the potential sites will then be subject to a second phase of public consultation. A third non-statutory phase of public consultation will take place on the emerging preferred site once it has been identified.

When the above three phases of public consultation have been concluded on the Regional Biosolids Storage Facility and the Ringsend and Greater Dublin Drainage planning applications have been submitted to An Bord Pleanála, a full statutory planning consultation process will begin  on both projects before final decisions are made by An Bord Pleanála.

Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Wicklow

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