Rainy Day Fun


A discharge from the Ringsend wastewater treatment plant into Dublin Bay in February

Now that the public has been made aware that sewage is allowed flow into Dublin Bay with every heavy bouts of rain, we should not be waiting for a plant extension to cater for these events.

Land is plentiful down at Ringsend with numerous empty derelict buildings lying there for years. They should build a number of steel tanks to hold the “shock load” of these heavy rainfall events. This sewage can then be treated as normal when the weather is dry.

Surely a simpler, more practical and cheaper way of dealing with this problem?

Peadar Farrell,
Protect Dublin Bay,
Raheny, Dublin 5.



Preventing sewage spills in Dublin Bay (The Irish Times letters page)

Pic: Eoin O’Shaughnessy/Dublin City Shots

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21 thoughts on “Rainy Day Fun

  1. Panty Christ

    .. crawled to freedom through five-hundred yards of sh1t smelling foulness I can’t even imagine, or maybe I just don’t want too. Five-Hundred yards… that’s the length of five football fields, just shy of half a mile.

  2. scottser

    human waste should be harvested for methane or leached through the soil to make potassium nitrate.

    1. newsjustin

      The problem here is that this is waste water (poo) mixed with huge amounts of rainwater. It’s due to the outdated/legacy issue of sewers collecting both waste and rain (combined sewers).

      In a flash rainfall event, huge amounts of dilute poo stained rainwater arrives for treatment. It’s dirty enough to close beaches, but really quite dilute. I don’t know if it makes more sense to focus on new (not combined) sewers or building mammoth tanks to store murky water that’ll be empty most of the time.

      1. Donal

        I suggest that building mammoth tanks could be done for much lower cost and in a much quicker period than sorting out a whole load of combined sewers. Sewers shoul dstill be fixed but let it be done over 20 years than trying to rush it
        Of course, in reality neither of these options will be done, nothing will be done

        1. The Old Boy

          Although there is a huge difference in scale, London is currently spending £4 billion-plus on a project to build a huge sewer under the Thames and increase the capacity of the sewage treatment plants rather than try to separate the surface water and foul sewers.

          1. martco

            and that might make a lot more sense…it’s too difficult to resolve the other way practically & a lot more expensive. there are large swathes of Dublin dominated by pre 1950’s properties & the pipework built to serve them where said pipes are unified…the consequence is that all the later era “infill” builds have had to hook to that existing pipework so rainwater + poo in same pipe all moseying along. more & more density etc. unless you reconstruct the mains it just escalates with time.

            what I’m interested in knowing is why IW still exists & what are they doing during the day exactly? (apart from making up bs statements blaming out of the blue monsoon rainfall etc.)

  3. eoin

    Why is the job of Joe Public to suggest solutions to Irish Water (Cathal Marley (Chairman and Acting Ervia Group CEO) Eamon Gallen (Irish Water Acting MD) Brendan Murphy (Ervia) Michael O’Sullivan (Ervia) The Board of Ervia consists of ten non-executive members (including the Chairman), who are appointed by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government)

    I mean, in advance of them building a giant septic tank (which is hardly rocket science), maybe they can hire a super tanker, station it 10 miles out at sea when it’s not needed and bring it in to pump the pee and poo as needed.

    Also, let’s knock this on the head right now. It’s not just heavy rainfall which leads to Irish Water pumping poo and pee into our waterways, a spokesman for IW said on Morning Ireland recently there are regular flushes from their plant into our waterways where the pee and poo is subjected to ultra violet light only, that is, someone shines a torch at it and off it goes into the sea.

    1. Cian

      Back of envelop calculations.
      Dublin county is 115km^2. So south county is, say, 30 km^2.
      Heavy rainfall is defined as at least 1cm/hour.

      In one hour of heavy rain (a minimum) of 300,000 cubic meters of rain falls on south Dublin.
      This would equate to 120 Olympic sized pools worth of water. Or one supertanker. Minimum.

      If we have heavier (2cm/hr) rain the you need two supertankers. per hour.


      1. Cian

        And the 10-mile long pipe out to the supertanker needs to pump 2-Olympic-sized swimming pools of water per minute.

      2. Cian

        To put that volume of water into context.

        If every man, woman, and child in South Dublin (everything south of the liffey – all 750,000 of them) flushed a toilet[1] once every 70 seconds for an hour they would produce less water than the 300,000 cubic m of water produced by the rain!

        [1] I don’t know if there are enough toilets to do this? Per person, not household.

  4. Operatick

    Astonishing that in a country where we get quite a lot of rain, we don’t have a sewage system capable of dealing with it.

        1. D

          or grey matter

          shipped off on the hoof for export

          maybe we should do that with our brown matter rather than flushing it.

    1. newsjustin

      We did. Until it became apparent that we shouldn’t be pouring poo into rivers and the sea.

      Back in the day we were hardier.

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