Irish Water to invest €300m on wastewater treatment plant upgrade


Irish Water has unveiled plans to invest €300m to upgrade a Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant in Dublin.

Operational since 2003, the existing sewage plant has failed consistently to cope with the amount of waste it receives, and has also failed to meet the European Union (EU) quality level over the last two years.

The wastewater treatment plant serves the Dublin city and county, and parts of Meath. The aim is to increase the capacity of the existing plant by 50%, reported the Irish Times

The company intends to seek planning permission by the end of 2016, allowing it to extend and modernise the plant.

For this purpose, Irish Water has launched an eight week public consultation on issues relating to the project.

With a capacity to treat wastewater from a population of 1.64 million, the existing plant is currently overloaded as it processes sewage from more than 1.9 million people.

"This project is vital to address that challenge and provide future capacity at this plant."

The plant upgrade plan was originally approved in 2012 and included construction of a 9km sea outfall tunnel capable of pumping treated wastewater into Dublin Bay, in the south of Howth, Ireland.

Irish Water now intends to use new technology for the Ringsend water treatment plant project. Known as aerobic granular sludge (AGS), the technology will enable treated wastewater to remain at its location, eliminating the need for building a tunnel.

This would add savings of €170m, while the expanded plant will be able to operate for the next 20 years.

If approved, construction is expected to start in 2017 and slated to be completed in two phases by mid-2020.

Irish Water Ringsend wastewater treatment plant upgrade project manager Donal O'Connor said: "The Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant was originally designed to treat wastewater for a capacity of 1.64 million population equivalent (PE) but is now operating over that capacity at 1.9 million PE.

"This project is vital to address that challenge and provide future capacity at this plant."

Image: Irish Water plans to invest €300m to upgrade wastewater treatment plant at Ringsend. Photo: courtesy of Toa55/Freedigitalphotos.