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Dublin: 4 °C Sunday 15 December, 2019
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Wastewater may be discharged into Dublin Bay following breakdown at Ringsend plant

Crews are working to repair pumps at the Dublin facility.

Wastewater flowing into Dublin Bay, file photo.
Wastewater flowing into Dublin Bay, file photo.
Image: Sam Boal

THERE IS AN increased risk of diluted sewage being discharged into Dublin Bay following a mechanical breakdown of pumps at Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Irish Water issued a notice about the mechanical failure this evening, saying there is an increasing risk of stormwater overflows in the coming days while repairs are taking place.

Overflows occur when Irish Water releases excess water from holding tanks into the Liffey estuary, in order to prevent the entire sewer network from becoming backed up, which would lead to flooding of roads and properties.

A spokesperson for the company said that stormwater tank overflow contains wastewater from homes and businesses that is highly diluted with rainwater and has been screened and settled to remove debris.

“Crews are on site working to carry out essential repairs to the pumps as quickly as possible in order to allow the plant to return to its full treatment capacity,” it said in a statement.

The plant, which is operated by Celtic Anglian Water, treats around 40% of Ireland’s sewage and frequently suffers from overflows as a result of storms because it is running beyond capacity.

There have been overflows on over 100 occasions since 2015, which have seen more than 9 billion litres of untreated wastewater discharged into the Liffey estuary.

The Environmental Protection Agency said it is being kept updated about the matter by Irish Water and it will be following up with the company until it is closed out.

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Ceimin Burke

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