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  • Southside

Permission sought for Ringsend plant upgrade

Monday, 11th June, 2018 8:00am
Permission sought for Ringsend plant upgrade

13 new Ringsend.jpg

Permission sought for Ringsend plant upgrade

13 new Ringsend.jpg

IRISH Water has submitted a strategic infrastructure development planning application to An Bord Pleanála to upgrade the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Wastewater from Dublin has been treated in Ringsend since 1906. The current facility is the largest wastewater treatment plant in Ireland and was built in 2005 to a design capacity of 1.64m population equivalent.

Irish Water says the proposed upgrade will enable future population growth and ensure the plant operates to the highest possible environmental standards. 

 The planning application to further progress the upgrade of the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant seeks permission for works required to facilitate the use of innovative Aerobic Granular Sludge technology; to omit the long sea outfall; to upgrade the sludge treatment facilities; and to provide for a Regional Biosolids Storage Facility in Newtown, Dublin 11.

Biosolids are a treated by-product of the wastewater treatment 


process that need to be stored on a temporary basis each year until they are applied to lands during the spring and autumn planting seasons.

 A previous planning application to upgrade the plant, based on the treatment technologies available at that time, received approval in 2012. This included permission for the construction of a 9km long sea outfall tunnel which would allow the discharge of the treated wastewater further out into Dublin Bay, away from the nutrient sensitive Lower Liffey Estuary. 

 In 2014, Irish Water took over the responsibility of providing water and wastewater services in Ireland. 

The need for the Ringsend upgrade project was assessed and reaffirmed. All elements of the 2012 approval were reviewed and Aerobic Granular Sludge (AGS) technology was identified by Irish Water as ideally suited and subsequently proven for use at the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant.

 Using AGS technology allows for a greater amount of wastewater to be treated to a higher standard within the current Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant. 

This means that the treated wastewater leaving the plant will be of a much higher quality than it would have been based on the original proposal in the 2012 approval.

This higher quality treated wastewater will be suitable for discharge at the current outfall location, in compliance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive, negating the need for the 9km outfall tunnel originally included in the 2012 planning approval.

 Commenting on the new planning application, Jean Hobbs, project manager at Irish Water, said: “This is a priority project for Irish Water and is vital for future social and economic development in Dublin, as well as for public health and for improving the waters and ecology of the Lower Liffey Estuary and Dublin Bay.

“Having identified AGS technology as appropriate for use in the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant, we began detailed testing and trials in April 2015 at the plant. 

“These trials proved hugely successful, confirming that wastewater treated by AGS technology can be safely and effectively discharged at the current outfall location while protecting the conservation designations in the Liffey Estuary and Dublin Bay. The application that we are making today will allow the plant to be upgraded to facilitate this innovative technology while supporting future population growth and ensuring that the plant operates to the highest possible environmental standards into the future.”

 Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade Project is one of the most important in a range of major investments, in both water supply and wastewater, that Irish Water will be rolling out in the region to support the economic projections for growth for the Greater Dublin Area and to protect the environment.

An Bord Pleanála commenced a seven-week statutory consultation on the application this week, which will close on Tuesday, July 31. 

Submissions or observations can be made up until 5.30pm on that date.

The planning application includes an Environmental Impact Assessment Report and a Natura Impact Statement and may be viewed at or downloaded from

Members of the public with questions in relation to the proposed upgrade project at Ringsend can contact the Irish Water project team at Lo-call 1890 100 056 or find further information on their website.

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