What is the Regional Biosolids Storage Facility?
The Regional Biosolids Storage Facility is a facility for the storage of treated biosolids produced from wastewater treatment plants in greater Dublin.
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.
Biosolids are a treated by-product of the wastewater treatment process.
The production of biosolids results in a low odour product that is not harmful to human health.
A sustainable reuse of these biosolids is to be spread on agricultural land as an organic fertiliser, because they contain high levels of nutrients. Approximately 98% of biosolids produced in Ireland are reused on agricultural land.
Biosolids are applied to lands from Spring to Autumn. During winter months, biosolids need to be stored.
The Regional Biosolids Storage Facility will store the treated biosolids produced at the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant and the wastewater treatment plant for the Greater Dublin Drainage Project at times of the year when land spreading is not taking place.
What is happening now?
The Regional Biosolids Storage Facility was granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanala in April 2019 as part of Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant grant of permission.
The new biosolids storage facility will form a key part of the upgraded wastewater treatment network for greater Dublin and will facilitate its continued social and economic growth while protecting the environment.
Irish Water is progressing a procurement process for the Regional Biosolids Storage Facility.
It is likely that construction will commence on the facility at Newtown near Kilshane Cross, Dublin 11 in 2021 and will take approximately 2 years to complete.
Where will the Regional Biosolids Storage Facility be constructed?
The Regional Biosolids Storage Facility will be constructed in Newtown/Kilshane, located off the M2 Motorway near Kilshane Cross in Fingal, Dublin.
The site for the Regional Biosolids Storage Facility at Newtown was selected following a thorough site selection process. The site has undergone all the relevant environmental studies and assessments as part of its planning application and the facility was granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanala in April 2019 as part of Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant grant of permission.
What will the facility look like?
The Regional Biosolids Storage Facility will comprise of two storage buildings, similar to modern industrial warehouses, and an administration building within a landscaped site. An indicative layout of the proposed facility is shown here:
Will there be treatment carried out at the Regional Biosolids Storage Facility?
No. Biosolids are a treated by-product of the wastewater treatment process and no further treatment of the material is required.
No treatment will take place at the storage facility.
Are biosolids odorous and what measures will Irish Water undertake to ensure that the risk of odour is managed?
Biosolids will be fully treated at a wastewater treatment plant before being delivered to the storage facility in covered trucks. Biosolids are a safe and stable low odour material and the storage buildings will be fitted with odour control units. To mitigate odour, all loading and unloading will take place internally within the enclosed buildings.
Are there health impacts associated with biosolids or living in proximity to a regional biosolids storage facility?
Biosolids are produced at our wastewater treatment plants. The treatment process results in a low odour, biologically stable product that is not harmful to human health.
The new storage facility will be operated to the highest health and safety standards and every measure will be taken to ensure that the environmental amenity of the local area is maintained.
Biosolids will be delivered to the storage facility in covered trucks and unloaded/loaded in enclosed buildings in order to minimise noise, dust and odour risk.
A construction environmental management plan will be implemented during the construction period to ensure that construction related impacts will be minimised.
Will there be noise, vibration and dust associated with the works?
In advance of construction works commencing on site, a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) will be prepared.
The CEMP will identify and outline how any environmental impacts associated with the works will be managed, monitored and minimised or mitigated in keeping with the Environmental Impact Assessment Report and the limits and conditions specified in the planning permission.
The CEMP will include a Noise and Vibration Management Plan and a Dust Minimisation Plan. The CEMP will be agreed with the planning authority, implemented and monitored by the contractor and supervised by Irish Water.
How will traffic associated with the works be managed?
We will ensure that disruption to local road users is minimised through effective management of traffic and construction related haulage in line with a Traffic Management Plan.
In advance of construction works commencing on site, a detailed Traffic Management Plan for the works will be developed in full consultation with Fingal County Council, An Garda Síochána, the Fire Service and the Ambulance service.
All traffic management plans, including working times, shall be agreed with and approved by Fingal County Council Transportation Department in advance of implementation.
What are the benefits of a regional facility over a number of smaller local facilities?
A single regional facility will lead to greater operational efficiencies and more effective management of the wastewater network in greater Dublin over the longer term. It represents the most efficient solution as quality management and control standards are best achieved at a single regional facility.
One regional facility, close to transport routes, will have a lower traffic impact on the region’s communities than several small storage facilities as fewer trucks will be needed to collect the biosolids to distribute them across Leinster. The area required for one regional facility will also require less space than multiple units and this, in turn, is better from an environmental impact perspective.
Will the construction project deliver benefits for the local community?
We have included social clauses in the construction contract to ensure that:
- The Contractor shall notify local employment services and training service organisations of all upcoming vacancies for positions as workers at least six weeks before filling a position and shall work closely with these organisations to fill positions.
- A minimum of 10% of person weeks worked on the construction project will be delivered by new entrant employees/job
- A minimum of 5% of project team personnel including contractor(s) staff, consultants and sub-consultants will be employees of SMEs
- ‘Meet the Buyer’ events will be organised locally to identify potential sub-contractors and local suppliers of goods and services.
How can I contact the project team in relation to this project?
You can email the project team at email@example.com
You can also register at this address to be part of a mailing list that will keep you updated as the project progresses.