New storage facility will form part of wastewater treatment network and support growth and development

Irish Water has identified a preferred site for a biosolids storage facility to serve the greater Dublin region. The preferred site is at Newtown/Kilshane, Dublin 11.

The new facility will store biosolids produced at the upgraded Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant and at the Greater Dublin Drainage project once operational.

Biosolids are produced during the wastewater treatment process. They contain high levels of nutrients and are sustainably reused as a soil conditioner and fertiliser in agriculture and forestry. Under EU and national regulations, biosolids can only be applied to lands during the planting seasons in Spring and Autumn and are stored for the intervening periods.

Due to population and economic growth, the quantity of biosolids produced in the greater Dublin region is expected to exceed the available storage capacity. Irish Water is working to upgrade existing wastewater treatment plants and provide new facilities where necessary to meet the needs of our growing population.

Indicative site layout

Earlier this year, Irish Water sought views on a shortlist of five potential sites for the Regional Biosolids Storage Facility located in Dublin, Fingal and Meath.

Following public consultation, the shortlisted sites proceeded to a technical assessment of a range of environmental, economic/engineering, planning, and social/community criteria in order to identify a preferred site.  A qualitative assessment using 21 classifications compared the specific site characteristics of each site.

Preferred site location

The Newtown/Kilshane site was found to be more favourable for a majority of the criteria assessed including zoning (heavy industry), planning policy, landscape and visual impact, noise, ecology, hydrology, distance from biosolids source, and capital and operating costs.

The preferred site will now undergo further environmental studies and assessments as part of the preparation of a planning application for the project.  An Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and Natura Impact Statement (NIS) will be prepared for the project. Irish Water has published an EIAR/NIS scoping report and is now seeking feedback on the proposed assessment methodology. A six week consultation begins today and runs until Tuesday 10th October 2017.

Announcing the third stage of public consultation for this project, Donal O’Connor, Project Manager, Irish Water said, “The population of Dublin and the surrounding counties of Kildare, Meath and Wicklow is growing. So too is economic activity in this region. Having adequate wastewater treatment infrastructure in place is vital to support residential and commercial development and to protect the environment.

Irish Water is focused on a strategic solution for greater Dublin to effectively and efficiently manage our wastewater treatment requirements. We are investing in the wastewater infrastructure across the region to meet the growing demand. The new Regional Biosolids Storage Facility will be a key part of our future wastewater infrastructure within this region.”

An open day, where the project team will be available to meet with the public and all interested stakeholders, will take place as follows:

  • Tuesday 12th September, The White House Hotel, Newpark, Co. Dublin, from 1pm-8pm

Planning permission for the Regional Biosolids Storage Facility will be sought as part of the applications for both the upgrade of the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant and the proposed new regional wastewater treatment facility for north Dublin (the Greater Dublin Drainage project). Irish Water intends to lodge planning applications for these projects to An Bord Pleanála within the next 12 months. A statutory consultation will be held by An Bord Pleanála to inform its determination on planning consent.  

Further details on the identified site and the consultation process are available on our Biosolids page or by emailing biosolids@water.ie.

Dublin, Meath

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