Greater Dublin Drainage has its origins in the findings of the Greater Dublin Strategic Drainage Study (GDSDS, 2005). This study took a high level view of the wastewater drainage and treatment requirements of the Greater Dublin Area and its key findings were the subject of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (2008).

The GDSDS recognised the limited capacity of the Ringsend plant and of the major arterial sewers draining to it. The GDSDS concluded that in addition to maximising the capacity of the existing wastewater treatment plants in the GDA, a new regional wastewater treatment facility, including a new orbital sewer to intercept flows from the Ringsend catchment, is required to be located in north Dublin, with an outfall to the Irish Sea.

The Greater Dublin Drainage project was initiated by Fingal County Council in 2011 on behalf of the four Dublin Local Authorities and Meath, Kildare and Wicklow. Fingal brought the GDD project through a rigorous alternative sites and routes assessment process and identified a preferred project solution.

The Project Team completed site selection in 2013 and identified that the best solution for the future development of wastewater treatment capacity in the wider Dublin region as:

  • an underground orbital sewer from Blanchardstown to Clonshaugh and two new pumping stations;
  • a new wastewater treatment facility at Clonshaugh;
  • an outfall pipe from the wastewater treatment facility discharging to the Irish Sea.

Irish Water is currently progressing the environmental studies required to prepare a planning application for the GDD project.

It is anticipated that an application for planning consent will be made to the independent planning authority, An Bord Pleanála, in 2018.