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

Irish Water is seeking views on a shortlist of five potential sites for a Regional Biosolids Storage Facility for the greater Dublin region that will help to facilitate social and economic growth.

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 is vital to enable residential and commercial development and to protect the environment.

Biosolids are a treated by-product of the wastewater treatment process. They contain high levels of nutrients and are sustainably reused as an organic fertiliser in agriculture, in compliance with EU and National regulations. Approximately 98% of biosolids produced in Ireland are reused on agricultural land. Biosolids are only applied to lands during the planting seasons each Spring and Autumn. For the rest of the year biosolids need to be stored.

Regional Biosolids Storage Facility for Greater Dublin
In the coming years, the quantity of biosolids being produced in the greater Dublin region is expected to exceed the currently available storage capacity as new and upgraded wastewater plants are completed to meet the needs of our growing population.

Following further studies and feedback received during a public consultation held earlier this year, Irish Water has identified five potential sites for a new regional biosolids storage facility. Factors taken into account in selecting the sites included whether land was appropriately zoned, the proximity to the relevant wastewater treatment sites and the road network to the sites.

The five potential sites identified are located at:

  • Bracetown/Gunnocks, Co. Meath
  • Gunnocks, Co. Meath
  • Greenogue, Co. Dublin
  • Newtown/Kilshane , Dublin 11
  • Woodlands/Kilshane, Dublin 11

Further details on each of the identified sites are contained in the Stage 2 Report which is available on the Irish Water website.

Announcing a second round of public consultation for this project, Donal O’Connor, Project Manager, Irish Water said, “Irish Water is focused on a strategic solution to meet projected demand for wastewater treatment within greater Dublin which will benefit the region by facilitating the growth of homes and jobs. This means effectively and efficiently developing and managing our wastewater treatment network. We are upgrading all existing treatment facilities and adding new wastewater plants and networks to meet future demand within the region. The new Regional Biosolids Storage Facility will be a key part of our future wastewater infrastructure.”

The consultation process begins today and runs until Thursday, 15 June 2017. Details on the proposed sites and the criteria that will be used to select a preferred site are available at www.water.ie/projects-plans/biosolids.

A series of public open days, where the project team will be available to meet with the public and all interested stakeholders and discuss all details of the sites and site selection criteria, will take place as follows:

  • Monday 22 May, The Oak Centre, Dunboyne, Co. Meath, from 1pm-7pm
  • Wednesday 24 May, Citywest Hotel, Saggart, Co. Dublin, from 1pm-7pm
  • Thursday 25 May, The White House Hotel, Newpark, Co. Dublin, from 1pm-7pm

A third non-statutory phase of public consultation will take place on the preferred site once it is identified later this year. The preferred site will undergo all necessary environmental studies and assessments and will be included in the planning applications for both the upgrade of the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant and the proposed new Greater Dublin Drainage project.

Irish Water intends to lodge planning applications for the projects within the next 12 months to An Bord Pleanála. A full statutory consultation process will be held before final decisions are made by An Bord Pleanála.

We welcome your views on the potential sites and on the proposed process to select a preferred site:

  • By phone: 0818 44 55 67
  • By email: biosolids@water.ie
  • By post: Biosolids Consultation, Irish Water, Colvill House, 24-26 Talbot Street, Dublin 1, Ireland