28 December 2017 Go back to News
Decision welcomed from An Bord Pleanála for covered reservoir at Stillorgan
Plan will secure drinking water supply for 200,000 people
Irish Water welcomes the decision from An Bord Pleanála for the new covered reservoir at Stillorgan. The Stillorgan Reservoir site has supplied drinking water to the community for 150 years. A new covered reservoir is essential to safeguard the quality of the drinking water for 200,000 customers. The development includes the draining of one of the reservoirs and the construction of a new covered reservoir. Once the new covered reservoir is operational, the other two open reservoirs will be decommissioned, and landscaping of the site will take place. The new covered reservoir will have the capacity to support future growth to 2031. The remainder of the site will be retained for future water services infrastructure to secure the long-term supply of drinking water for the community.
Irish Water has already invested €3.4 million to improve the disinfection of drinking water stored in the Stillorgan Reservoir enabling the removal of the Stillorgan Reservoir from the EPA’s Remedial Action List. The investment in a new covered reservoir is a significant additional measure to protect and upgrade the water quality in the reservoir, and the EPA and HSE support the need to implement this longer term solution for the benefit of the community. The site will remain an active treated water storage area and consequently public access will not be permitted. It is anticipated that construction will commence in 2018 and take approximately two years to complete.
Unacceptable contamination risk to public health
The existing Stillorgan site is one of the last remaining open service reservoirs of treated drinking water of its kind in Europe. Treated drinking water exposed to the environment presents an unacceptable contamination risk to public health as the water supply is vulnerable to contaminated from wildlife, animal waste, airborne material and pollutants entering the supply from people accessing the water. Irish Water lodged a planning application to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council following a six week non-statutory public consultation undertaken by Irish Water in relation to the proposed new covered reservoir, where members of the public and interested stakeholders came along to the events to meet the project team who were on hand to answer any questions on the project. The points raised in the consultation were taken into account by Irish Water in the preparation of the planning application. This included landscaping of the site which incorporates a green roof on the reservoir and full landscaping of all decommissioned areas.
Planning permission was granted by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council on 1 June 2017 for the construction of a new covered reservoir, subject to the temporary provision of publicly accessible open space on an area of landscaped lands at the Stillorgan Reservoir site. Irish Water appealed the planning condition as the locations of the decommissioned reservoirs need to be maintained for future water services infrastructure to secure drinking water for the community and Irish Water is pleased that An Bord Pleanála has approved the planning application to ensure that the Utility will retain the entire site for this future development.
Committed to safeguarding the water supply for the community
John Prendeville, Project Manager with Irish Water, said “Irish Water is pleased that An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission for the new covered reservoir at the existing Stillorgan Reservoir site. The locations of the decommissioned reservoirs will be maintained for future water services infrastructure to secure drinking water for the community and Irish Water needs to retain the entire site for this future development. Irish Water is committed to safeguarding the water supply for the community and providing a long-term solution for the safe and sustainable management of the water supply for the next 15 years. We will engage fully with all stakeholders as we continue to work to progress this priority project. We are committed to investing approximately €80 million to ensure the upgrade to the reservoir provides the long term solution that is required to secure the water supply. The Stillorgan Reservoir has served the community for over 150 years and this project will ensure it continues to do so”.