Wednesday 23 April 2008

Ringsend residents must keep holding noses

Residents will have to endure foul smells from a sewage treatment plant for an extra four months because odour alleviation measures at the facility will not be completed on time.

Dublin City Council has admitted that even though it is currently spending €28.3m annually on the Ringsend sewage treatment plant, it will take until November to fully rectify the problem of the facility's unsavoury odours.

This is despite assurances from the city manager at the start of the year that odour problems at the plant would be fully alleviated by July.

This will bring to four years the time it has taken the council to eliminate odour problems associated with the waste water treatment facility.

The €300m plant opened in July 2003 to process sewage from 1.7 million homes around ublin, bringing an end to the dumping of more than 40 million gallons of raw sewage into Dublin Bay.

It was developed under a public-private partnership with the ABA consortium, involving Ascon, sewerage specialists Black & Veatch and Anglia Water.

Since it opened residents living in the Ringsend, Sandymount and Irishtown have experienced foul odours emanating from the plant.

The smell is particularly bad in summer and for the last three years residents have been forced to keep their doors and windows shut due to the stench.

Following an independent review of the operation of the plant by a US engineering firm in 2004, the consortium decided on a series of engineering works to eradicate the smell. In 2006 short-term works began with the installation of 'odour friendly' sludge processing equipment, and last year a more extensive programme of engineering works was introduced with the aim of permanently eliminating the smell.

Last January, the city manager John Tierney said the problem would be eradicated by July, but the council now says that while short-term measures are in place and that the problem will be partly rectified by July, the odour problem will not be completely sorted out until November.

Louise Healy
Irish Independent

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