Seanad debates

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


2:30 pm

Photo of Victor BoyhanVictor Boyhan (Independent) | Oireachtas source

The HSE has raised health alarms about uncontrolled pumping of sewage into Dublin Bay in the past few days. The alarms were to stop children playing on the sand on the beaches north and south of Dublin Bay. It is an absolute scandal. There is a plant in Ringsend that is operating at 20% over its capabilities and capacity. There are what are called in the words of Irish Water controlled and uncontrolled releases. Rainwater or grey water goes into the sewage treatment plant in Poolbeg, which serves 40% of the country's wastewater, then solids rise in water tanks and are deliberately released because the tanks cannot cope with the capacity.We are addressing housing, planning and economic prosperity as part of the bigger plan to invest and encourage growth in Dublin and other locations. As a result, we have to address this matter. The best Irish Water can do is indicate that it is working on increasing the capacity in its sewerage plant but that we cannot expect anything to be completed by 2023.

We have a serious problem. We are actively discharging sewage into Dublin Bay. From Merrion Strand through Booterstown, Blackrock, Dún Laoghaire, Dalkey, Killiney and out as far as Shankill, we have had contaminated our coastal waters. This is a health issue that impacts on the constituency of the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Deputy Eoghan Murphy. I ask that he come before the House and indicate how we can address it in the short term. We have a major capacity problem at Ringsend that is giving rise to a serious health concern for people.


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