Project Need and Benefits
Why is this project needed?
Increasing wastewater treatment capacity in greater Dublin is vital to meet the demands of a growing population and to support Dublin’s future economic growth and development.
Greater Dublin is growing
Continued population growth and increased commercial activity in the Greater Dublin area means the volume of wastewater generated is projected to increase by more than 50% over the next 30 years.
With this growth comes increased need for wastewater treatment facilities, so that the treated water can be safely returned to our rivers, lakes and seas.
The increased demand for and the higher standards of wastewater treatment will result in larger volumes of biosolids being produced in greater Dublin.
In the coming years, the quantity of biosolids being produced in the greater Dublin area is expected to exceed the currently available storage capacity. A new storage facility must therefore be developed.
Developing regional biosolids storage facilities was identified as one of the key objectives of Irish Water’s National Wastewater Sludge Management Plan published in 2016, which set out a standardised long-term approach to managing the outputs of the wastewater treatment process. It recommended that, where appropriate, biosolids storage facilities be developed to serve a number of local plants or a wider regional need.
The plan identified the need to develop a new regional storage facility to serve greater Dublin and to support the upgrade of Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant and the development of the Greater Dublin Drainage project. For more information, view the National Wastewater Sludge Management page.
It is planned that the new Regional Biosolids Storage Facility will serve greater Dublin and its population for the next 25 years and will safeguard public health, protect our environment and facilitate development in this growing region. The new regional facility will lead to greater efficiencies and more effective management of the wastewater network over the longer term.
What are the project benefits?
- A single regional biosolids storage facility, located closer to where biosolids are produced and in proximity to transport networks rather than numerous smaller facilities spread across several communities.
- A storage facility closer to greater Dublin’s wastewater treatment plants where biosolids will continue to be produced into the future;
- The area required for one regional facility will require less space than multiple units ensuring environmental sustainability.
- One regional facility, close to transport routes, will have a lower traffic impact on the region’s communities than several small / local storage facilities as fewer trucks will collect the biosolids to distribute them across Leinster, rather than many small trucks, tractors and other vehicles making regular collections to local community storage centres.
- One small team will operate and manage the regional storage facility to a continuous standard thus enabling consistent high quality.