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Project Overview

The Greater Dublin Drainage project aims to provide strategic drainage infrastructure that the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) requires for its continued social and economic development. The initiative involves the provision of new wastewater treatment works, a marine outfall, and a new drainage network in the northern part of the Greater Dublin Area.

The Greater Dublin Drainage project will:

  • safeguard public health;
  • improve and protect the environment; and
  • facilitate employment, social progress & economic growth in the wider Dublin region.

Greater Dublin Drainage is about providing long term sustainable wastewater drainage and treatment for the Greater Dublin Area (GDA).

Throughout the Dublin region there is a vast system of pipes, pumps, and treatment plants that collect and treat our wastewater. For the past century, the growth of the Dublin region – and the health of its citizens – has been underpinned by the expansion of this system which has mostly drained to the country’s largest wastewater treatment plant at Ringsend.

Census 2016 recorded that Dublin and the commuter belt counties of Meath and Kildare are among the fastest growing counties in the country.

As our population and economy grow, so too does the volume of wastewater. The amount of wastewater generated in greater Dublin is projected to increase by over 50% in the period to 2050. We must collect and treat this wastewater so that the treated water can be safely returned to the environment.

Irish Water is working to upgrade our existing wastewater treatment facilities in greater Dublin and to invest in new infrastructure where necessary.

The GDD project is essential to the growth and development of communities and businesses within greater Dublin and it will provide the future wastewater treatment capacity the area needs. The GDD project is necessary to meet the Water Framework Directive (WFD) requirements and other relevant EU Directives and National Regulations related to water quality.


Project Solution

To meet the needs of our growing population, the GDD project solution is:

  • A new regional wastewater treatment facility and sludge hub centre on a 30 hectare site at Clonshagh (Clonshaugh);
  • An underground orbital sewer from Blanchardstown to Clonshagh (Clonshaugh), including a new pumping station at Abbotstown;
  • A sewer to divert part of the North Fringe Sewer to the new treatment facility;
  • An outfall pipe from the wastewater treatment facility discharging the treated water to the Irish Sea; and
  • A regional biosolids storage facility located at Newtown/Kilshane, Dublin 11.

The GDD project will treat wastewater arising in Fingal (areas from Blanchardstown to Clonshagh (Clonshaugh) including from the Dublin Airport Zone), from northern parts of Dublin City, from south-east Meath and from north-east Kildare. GDD is a once-in-a-generation project that will protect public health, safeguard our environment and facilitate growth to 2050 and beyond.