38 thoughts on “Down In The Doldrum

  1. scottser

    Fingal County Council and Irish Water have, to date, refused to rectify the situation…

    er, why not?

  2. ollie

    If this is such an issue why don’t the good people of Howth allowed Fngal to build a sewage treatment works in the area instead of pumping their poo to peasent land.
    Although the poo generated by these wonderful humans can only enhance any environment it’s dumped in!

    1. munkifisht

      The main sewage pumps for most of North Dublin are located in Sutton, just down the road, Where would you propose to put treatement works? On the cliffs?

      1. ollie

        Sutton is a pumping station for the area, NOT a treatment works. Before you open your mouth try and learn something about the subject matter.
        There is no shortage of land in Hawth for sewage treatment plant, just a lack of co-operation from the residents.

        1. Bob

          The Sutton plant pumps the waste water to the Ringsend treatment plant. There’s not many reasons not to have Howth hooked up to it.

        2. munkifisht

          I had my mouth closed when I typed that, Said the main sewage pumps, didn’t mention anything about treatment works. There is a shortage of land in Howth, the only place there’s any space is Howth Golf Club, but the land there can’t be built on. Moronic too that you’d put anything like a treatment plant in a place which is a major tourist attraction and area of natural beauty.

          Ye’d wanta watch that chip on your shoulder. Get any more and ye can start selling em with some battered cod.

    2. phil

      Ollie that’s correct, I remember the NIMBYs objecting to the sewage treatment plant in 2011 , who would have thunk it , that a worse problem would have developed than building the plant ….

      1. Vote Rep #1

        They didn’t. The people of Portrane did though when DCC wanted to build the 2nd biggest open sewage works in Europe there (the biggest is Ringsend, who also objected). Ollie is trying to blame the people of Howth for this because they are well off.

    3. classter

      Howth is a special conservation area. Why would the Council possibly try build it in Howth when there are other possible locations elsewhere?

    1. medieval knievel

      “North Bull Island in Dublin was awarded a biosphere designation in 1981 and Killarney National Park received the award in 1982. The latest Irish biosphere reserve in Dublin Bay spreads over 300km2 of coast, encompassing many of the capital’s most scenic spots such as Howth head, Killiney Hill, the Tolka and Baldoyle Estuaries and Ireland’s Eye. ”


  3. bisted

    …fairplay to Patrick Jackson for his hands-on approach but he really should ditch the Green Party association because that group have sullied their name for generations.

    1. Patrick Jackson

      Hi, Bisted. Thanks for the kind words. I actually don’t really have a Green Party association and wasn’t in Ireland for the sullying of which you speak. Regarding this film, I was contacted a while ago by two Green Party interns via one of our local councillors, David Healy, who has been extremely helpful in moving this local cause forward. He’s been a great support, as have An Taisce, Coastwatch, and some other councillors including Cian O’Callaghan who was working at this long before I started on it. I have looked for opportunities to spread the shite in any corner I could and the aforementioned people and organisations were readiest in their efforts. All the best. PJ

    1. Patrick Jackson

      Are you referring to me, Doncolleone? I’m as Irish as they come. I even live with my mother.

  4. gallantman

    Its all a bit wooly. When asked for his solution he says “Stop pumping sewage into the sea”. Fine. He maybe needs to propose the alternative to this and explain it a bit.

    1. medieval knievel

      it’s not rocket science to suggest that it should be going to a sewage treatment works instead. should he need to be able to design that infrastructure in order for you to take him seriously?

      1. doncolleone

        aye pumping raw sewage into sea in a heavily populated area is not the accepted norm bro, it tends to be dumped at least miles out when it must happen, that just looks wrong and, well, Irish.

      2. gallantman

        Its apparent that the sewage into the sea is the problem. I therefore think if he puts up the question “What is the solution?”…it warrants a more considered answer than the bleedin’ obvious is all.

        1. Vote Rep #1

          No, the problem is the fact that it is raw sewage getting pumped into the sea. A treatment plan cleans the sewage so you don’t have bits of poo and dirty toilet paper just floating on out there.

    2. Patrick Jackson

      You are dead right there and the same thing struck me as I watched myself waffling away. I am not an environmental expert or an engineer and may well be getting in over my depth as you have correctly pointed out. In fact, my thoughts are purely based on what has floated to the surface during my walks on the beach trying to clean it up. Ew! To be specific though, to the best of my research, the solution seems to be to find a suitable location somewhere up there (not as easy as it might sound, believe it or not) and set up a relatively small on-site treatment plant or biocycle system of some type. Will be working on this when I get back from my snorkeling holiday. Cheers. PJ

    1. classter

      Its not this country – this is part of being an adult & a citizen.

      You don’t get to sit back & have perfect results served up to you. You need to advocate for what you want to see & you need to keep doing so.

  5. JunkFace

    Fixing the problem takes analysis, research, investment and planning. Something Irish Governments willfully ignore because they just want to get re-elected and pick up pensions, not improve the country. Add it to the list of problems that nothing is being done to resolve;

    Housing / Rent control
    Hospital Beds waiting times,
    Ambulance reaction times in rural areas,
    Cancer treatment quality outside Dublin,
    Affordable Childcare,

    Of course, if there’s a financial catastrophe of any kind that is the FIRST thing to be fixed, on the backs of everyday tax payers and future generations. Everyone should think long and hard about the next General Election.

    1. classter

      ‘Ambulance reaction times in rural areas,
      Cancer treatment quality outside Dublin,’

      I’m, sorry but this is complete bullsh!t
      In terms of public services, our biggest problem is that so many of us try to live essentially suburban lives in rural areas, If you want to do so, fine, but stop expecting Dubliners to shell out to enable this fantasy.

  6. Patrick Jackson

    It’s okay everybody. Irish Water have a Complaints and Escalations Specialist called D.Muddiman (I know, you couldn’t make it up) who has corresponded with me as follows. He has offered the best written and most concise summary damning his employers that I have read to date.

    Dear Mr Jackson,

    In reference to your previous query in relation to Doldrum Bay, we wanted to keep you up to date on the progress of the work being undertaken by Irish Water.

    Doldrum Bay Update Information note – July 2015

    Currently, a wastewater discharge pipe serves approximately 44 houses and discharges off Howth Head in to the Sea. The pipes which would have taken the wastewater out to sea are now completely broken and in most cases have completely eroded due to wave action and marine exposure. This was recognised as requiring remediation, as it is in breach of the EPA wastewater discharge licence. This isolated group of 44 houses were never connected to Ringsend WWTW.

    In 2012, Fingal County Council Water Services engaged consultants to carry out an options review of the remedial scheme. Following the review of the scheme an application for funding was submitted to the Department of Environment Community and Local Government. Unfortunately, the funding was not sanctioned at that time to proceed.

    The current Irish Water Capital Investment Plan (CIP) for 2014-2016 represents the transition between capital programmes previously overseen and largely funded by the DECLG and Irish Waters full price control period investments plans to be regulated by the Commissioner for Energy Regulation (CER). Under the current CIP, funding is secured for projects where contractual commitments were entered into previously by Local Authorities and which have now transitioned to Irish Water.

    Works to discontinue the discharge at Doldrum Bay is not included in the Capital Investment Plan (CIP) for 2014-2016.

    Following the establishment of Irish Water in January 2014, Fingal County Council and Irish Water have been working together to examine ways to address the issues there. The main issues are:

    1. The defective wastewater discharge pipe on the beach

    2. The larger situation of managing the overall discharge.

    As stated previously, it has been agreed in liaison with Fingal County Council that, in the first instance, the current situation, in terms of replacing the existing wastewater discharge pipe, is examined further and Irish Water are proceeding to carry out a full assessment of the catchment prior to undertaking rehabilitation works on the outfall to ensure that the works delivered are appropriate, which will involve an catchment survey and an examination of the various options that could be undertaken.

    Irish Water can confirm that these surveys have commenced and Irish Water is actively engaging with the EPA to report on these in quarter 4 of 2015. In relation to the larger situation of managing the overall discharge, Irish Water is looking at a possible long term solution in terms of the management of the discharge and carried out a preliminary assessment in May 2015. Once all of the information is gathered Irish Water will be in a position to consider all options before making a decision on how to proceed and how to prioritise works in the context of available capital funding.

    We will endeavour to keep you updated as this project progresses.

    Kind regards,

    David Muddiman

    Complaints & Escalations Specialist

    Uisce Éireann
    Teach Colvill, 24-26 Sráid Thalbóid, Baile Átha Cliath, Éire
    Irish Water
    Colvill House, 24-26 Talbot Street, Dublin, Ireland

    T: 1890 278 278

  7. paulyq

    As anyone who walks those cliffs knows, the culprits there are a few dozen (beautiful) houses above the cliffs. Yes I’m jealous of those “well appointed” pads.

    The solution here is for each house to invest in a septic tank. I guess as a resident the videographer may not wish to suggest this as he might get unpopular with his neighbours. It will be expensive, but it’s what you need to do if you build in an isolated place like that. Maybe 50 years ago you could just point a pipe at the sea which is what the locals seem to have done.

    So, question: should Ireland socialise the cost by spending your taxpayer millions on (third generation EU everything approved) sewerage infrastructure for 40 odd houses in one of the most expensive strips of land in the country?

    1. Patrick Jackson

      Hi, Paulyq. Interesting suggestion that on the surface seems logical. Indeed that would be a solution although it would probably be total chaos and I would be very unpopular with my neighbours as you say! I can handle that I think but there are some reasons that it’s not really a logical solution as it first seems. Firstly, there are a variety of houses in the area, ranging from new millionaires pads (nost of which would have their own biocycle systems anyway) to relatively humble places. There are also people with little money living in beautiful houses for whatever reason who would not be able to afford it. But should they have to anyway? Is not everybody entitled to working utilities whatever the value of their house so long as they pay their tax ? I would say that yes they are and that the government/Irish Water should 100% be responsible for providing proper drainage in this case. Isn’t the logic of public utilities, that they are public and are provided for from the public’s taxation? Are you suggesting that different rules should apply to people depending on the area they live in? If you are a high earner you already pay more income tax. If you are living in a more valuable house you are already paying more property tax. Should people get nothing in return for their taxes? Most of the people in this catchment area, who probably on average have more resources than the average pay taxes like anyone else. I can understand where you’re coming from – “Boo hoo they live in a nice area so let them pay for their own utilities!” but I have paid my taxes. Am I not to get anything at all for that? And isn’t what you propose really just an inverted version of the attitude whereby people at all income levels avoid paying their tax and squirrel away money any way they can? You may, like I do, prefer to see higher tax rates, a more stringent enforcement of tax collection and a more efficient use of that money, but that all has to be in exchange for good quality services not the bureaucratic rip-off we are all paying for at the moment. I write children’s books, am not a millionaire and would like to see the system working in the way it should so I can go snorkeling and concentrate on what’s important in life. Apologies for the rant. I would just like everybody to pay their fair share for a decent level of services wherever they live.

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