Irish Water says sewage plant will not adversely impact on Traveller site

Travellers are closest residents to proposed north Dublin plant at Clonshaugh

Irish Water is seeking permission  for a €500m sewage plant at Clonshaugh, north Dublin,  which would be the second largest sewage works in the State after the Ringsend plant in Dublin

Irish Water is seeking permission for a €500m sewage plant at Clonshaugh, north Dublin, which would be the second largest sewage works in the State after the Ringsend plant in Dublin

 

Large Traveller populations living close to a proposed regional sewage plant will not be adversely affected by odours or vermin, Irish Water has told a Bord Pleanála hearing.

Traveller accommodation sites are the closest residential developments to the proposed plant, with more than 200 Traveller families living less than 900m from the site at Clonshaugh, east of Dublin Airport.

Irish Water is seeking permission from the board for a €500 million sewage plant at Clonshaugh, which would be the second largest sewage works in the State after the Ringsend plant in Dublin 4.

In addition to the plant, the project includes the construction of an underground orbital sewer from Blanchardstown to Clonshaugh to intercept existing flows to Ringsend; a pumping station at Abbotstown; and an outfall pipeline to discharge effluent into the Irish Sea approximately 1km northeast of Ireland’s Eye.

There were, Irish Water said, 3,775 homes within the “study area” of all these facilities.

Residents and politicians, including Minister for the Environment Richard Bruton, made submissions in relation to the impact of the development on hotels, schools, sports clubs and homes within the area, and suggested there was a “lack of community gain” for the area.

Irish Water said Travellers living at Cara Park in Darndale, the closest homes to the Clonshaugh plant, would not “experience a negative impact” arising from the operation of the plant as, at approximately 850m, the plant was a sufficient distance from their homes.

Dr Imelda Shanahan, representing Irish Water, told the hearing that “any odours from the facility will be contained and treated to a very high degree”, and there would be “no detectable odour at the site boundary”.

Odour issues

She said concerns had been raised that the new plant would suffer the same “historic odour issues experienced at Ringsend”. The Ringsend plant’s odour problems were “a symptom of the fact that the Ringsend works was treating loads in excess of the design capacity”, she said. The Clonshaugh plant “is being designed for the required treatment capacity, and therefore the primary causative factor for historical odour issues at Ringsend will not arise”.

Dr Martin Hogan, addressing human health issues for Irish Water, told the hearing that “vermin management” would be in place during and after construction, and “odour is not in itself a health effect”.

He said the alternative of not going ahead with the project would be “intolerable” from a human health perspective.

“Inappropriate or improper treatment of human waste is simply intolerable in human health terms. This would give the potential for the transmission of disease as a direct result from contact with human excrement, and indirectly from associated aspects such as increase in vermin.”

The sewer construction will involve tunnelling through the grounds of Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown. Dr Hogan said the windows at the hospital “will be required to be closed at all times during the construction works as part of the air quality mitigation measures in order to control dust intrusion”.

Construction work in the hospital grounds is expected to take up to six months.