Proposed upgrade uses innovative technology to deliver a more sustainable, safe and environmentally sensitive solution

Irish Water will today submit a planning application for strategic infrastructure development to An Bord Pleanála to upgrade the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant. This proposed upgrade of the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant will enable future population growth and ensure the plant operates to the highest possible environmental standards. 

The planning application to further progress the upgrade of the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant seeks permission for works required to facilitate the use of innovative Aerobic Granular Sludge technology; to omit the long sea outfall; to upgrade the sludge treatment facilities; and to provide for a Regional Biosolids Storage Facility in Newtown, Dublin 11. Biosolids are a treated by-product of the wastewater treatment process that need to be stored on a temporary basis each year until they are applied to lands during the Spring and Autumn planting seasons.

Previous planning application

A previous planning application to upgrade the plant, based on the treatment technologies available at that time, received approval in 2012. This 2012 approval included the construction of a 9km long sea outfall tunnel, which would allow the discharge of the treated wastewater, further out into Dublin Bay, away from the nutrient sensitive Lower Liffey Estuary.

In 2014, Irish Water took over the responsibility of providing water and wastewater services in Ireland.  The need for the Ringsend upgrade project was assessed and reaffirmed. All elements of the 2012 approval were reviewed and Aerobic Granular Sludge (AGS) technology was identified by Irish Water as ideally suited and subsequently proven for use at the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Aerobic Granular Sludge (AGS) technology

Using AGS technology allows for a greater amount of wastewater to be treated to a higher standard within the current Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant. This means that the treated wastewater leaving the plant will be of a much higher quality than it would have been based on the original proposal in the 2012 approval. This higher quality treated wastewater will be suitable for discharge at the current outfall location, in compliance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive, negating the need for the 9km outfall tunnel originally included in the 2012 planning approval.

Commenting on the new planning application, Jean Hobbs, Project Manager at Irish Water, said “This is a priority project for Irish Water and is vital for future social and economic development in Dublin, as well as for public health and for improving the waters and ecology of the Lower Liffey Estuary and Dublin Bay. Having identified AGS technology as appropriate for use in the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant, we began detailed testing and trials in April 2015 at the plant. These trials proved hugely successful, confirming that wastewater treated by AGS technology can be safely and effectively discharged at the current outfall location while protecting the conservation designations in the Liffey Estuary and Dublin Bay. The application that we are making today will allow the plant to be upgraded to facilitate this innovative technology while supporting future population growth and ensuring that the plant operates to the highest possible environmental standards into the future.”

Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade Project is one of the most important in a range of major investment in both water supply and wastewater that we will be rolling out in the region to support the economic projections for growth for the Greater Dublin Area and to protect the environment.

Planning application and statutory consultation

The planning application includes an Environmental Impact Assessment Report and a Natura Impact Statement and may be viewed at www.ringsendwwtpupgrade.ie.

An Bord Pleanála will commence a seven week statutory consultation on the application, commencing on Tuesday 12 June 2018 and closing on Tuesday 31 July 2018.  Submissions or observations can be made to An Bord Pleanála up until 5:30pm on Tuesday 31 July 2018.

How to view the application material

All documents may be inspected free of charge or purchased on payment of a specified fee (which shall not exceed the reasonable cost of making such copy) during public opening hours for a period of seven weeks commencing on the 12 June 2018 at the following locations:

  • The Offices of An Bord Pleanála, 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1
  • The Offices Dublin City Council, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8
  • The Offices of Fingal County Council, County Offices, Grove Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
  • The Offices of Fingal County Council, Fingal County Hall, Main Street, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin

Members of the public with questions in relation to the proposed upgrade project can contact the Irish Water project team at Lo-call 1890 100 056 or email ringsendwwtpupgradeproject@water.ie.  

Compulsory Purchase Order

Irish Water has also made a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) in respect of the lands at Newtown Dublin 11 associated with the Regional Biosolids Storage Facility, which will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála for confirmation.

Affected parties will receive individual written notice.  A copy of the CPO documentation may be viewed at the following locations:

  • The Offices Dublin City Council, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8
  • The Offices of Fingal County Council, County Offices, Grove Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
  • The Offices of Fingal County Council, Fingal County Hall, Main Street, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin

CPO objections

Objections to the CPO may be made in writing to An Bord Pleanála, 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1, before 5.30pm on Tuesday 31 July, 2018.

Irish Water will also be seeking permission, shortly, for the Greater Dublin Drainage project, which includes a new wastewater treatment plant in Clonshaugh that will be needed from the mid-2020s to enable the northern and north western environs of the city to continue to grow into the future.

Further information

You can find out more on this project by visiting our Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade Project and Biosolids pages.

Dublin

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