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Ballyboden Water Treatment Plant: Improving Biodiversity

Uisce Éireann has planted over 1400 additional trees at the recently upgraded Ballyboden Water Treatment Plant to protect and enhance biodiversity on site.

Uisce Éireann, working in partnership with Dublin City Council, recently completed works to upgrade the Ballyboden Water Treatment Plant Upgrade. Ballyboden Water Treatment Plant supplies treated water to customers in Dublin City, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and South Dublin County.

Uisce Éireann recognises the urgent need to increase and accelerate efforts to halt the decline of biodiversity. We are committed to building infrastructure that protects and, where possible, enhances our ecosystems.

As part of the Uisce Éireann Biodiversity Action Plan, over 1400 additional trees were recently planted on the grounds of the water treatment plant to enhance and protect biodiversity on the site.

A water treatment plant

What was involved in this project?

  • Construction of a new 16 million litres covered concrete reservoir for storage of treated water.
  • Installation of new water treatment equipment including new disinfection processes.
  • Decommissioning of existing open storage while maintaining existing reservoir embankments.
  • The areas around the car parks and around the new Reservoir were installed in Grass-crete (reinforced Grass seeding) rather than conventional Macadam finish.
  • Over 1200 new trees have been planted on the grounds of the water treatment facility. These include Common Hawthorn, Crab Apple, Birch, Oak, Potted Pine and Holly.
  • There are also some 200 new plants around the Attenuation Pond including Tall Feather Trees, Lesser Pond sedges, Common Rushes, Common Sedge and other water tolerant species.
  • Hedging replacement was carried out with two rows of Beech and approximately 250 number native plants (Hazelnut, Blackthorn, Elder, Guelder-Rose, Hawthorn).

What are the benefits of this project?

This upgrade of the water treatment plant and reservoir eliminated any potential re-contamination of the treated water. In addition, improvements were made to the disinfection process to reduce water quality risks to a minimum.

Providing sustainable water and wastewater services relies on a natural and biodiverse ecosystem. This places biodiversity at the core of Uisce Éireann's business. The benefits of biodiversity are clear when it comes to protecting the quality of our drinking water and providing wetland-based wastewater treatment. We recognise, though, that all our sites and activities interact with ecosystems and there are many more benefits. Supporting a meadow or woodland habitat, for example, will reduce a site's operational needs. ​

Mr. Larry Callaghan, Reservoir Manager, noted that prior to the construction of the Reservoir he and his crew were tasked with keeping bird life away from the open treated water Reservoir. 

"Now we are in a position to encourage bird and plant life in and around the old pond which is an attenuation area with regular visits from Herons, Ducks and Swans. The grass cutting routine is careful to promote designated areas of wildness. It is a good place to work with attractive views. We regularly see foxes and sometimes at night we even spot badgers"

The actions undertaken in Ballyboden Water Treatment Plant as part of Uisce Éireann's Biodiversity Action Plan will enhance biodiversity, protect threatened ecosystems, and enhance aesthetics of the boundary screening, while ensuring no net loss of biodiversity.

Check out some images that were recently captured on site:

A water treatment plant

Small trees

A water treatment plant

A man working with trees

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