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Wastewater overflows from Ringsend’s over-capacity treatment plant have made algal blooms in Dublin Bay much more likely, says one marine expert.

Speaking to The Green News, Karin Dubsky of Coastwatch Ireland said overflows from Ringsend which have occurred after heavy rainfalls provide the right nutrient-rich environment for algae to prosper.

Afloat.ie readers will remember the ‘orange slick’ seen on south Dublin beaches this past summer — and this past week the Shelly Banks adjacent to the Ringsend plant was blanketed in rotting seaweed many mistook for raw sewage.

But capacity issues at Ringsend are only one facet of the the problem, according to Dubsky.

“It’s not just one big Ringsend discharge as the treatment plant is struggling, it’s all those smaller stormwater overflows mixed with sewage water which are discharging right at high watermark onto the shore,” she said.

The Green News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

Dublin City Council says a blanket of noxious material on a beach in Ringsend is rotting seaweed and not residue from the adjacent wastewater treatment plant.

As The Irish Times reports, the foul-smelling brown slick at Shelly Banks prompted numerous complaints from the public — but the council says it is actually a macro algae called ectocarpus siliculosis, which produces a smell similar to sewage when it decomposes.

Local authority inspection of the are found “no evidence of a sewage discharge” at the beach next to the controversial wastewater plant, which is estimated to be operating at 20% above capacity.

Overflow from the plant after heavy rains discoloured the River Liffey in February this year, though a more recent incident coincided with an algal bloom many mistook for untreated wastewater.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School (INSS) has expressed its frustration over the second discharge this month of wastewater into Dublin Bay, which has seen new bathing bans issued at several popular swimming spots in the capital.

While the latest notice does not apply to the waters inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour, the INSS says it has still had to activate its ‘unclean water procedure’ as Salthill beach, from where it usually operates, and other locations woke up to an ‘orange slick’ on the shoreline this morning (Tuesday 25 June). This slick has since been confirmed by the local authority as an algal bloom "not directly associated" with the wastewater overflow.

The procedure involves alterations to activities, use of small keelboats instead of dinghies if appropriate, and stringent instructor supervision to ensure people are on rather than in the water.

While afloat, all safety boats must carry hand-sanitising wipes, and children must regularly wash their hands. Shore side, extensive hand-washing, sanitising gels and a focus on good hygiene practises minimises the risk as much as possible.

“On this occasion, we have been relatively lucky to still be able to operate within the harbour,” said Glyn Williams, the school’s communications and marketing manager.

“However, it’s not good enough that we find out about this later in the day,” he added, referring to the initial reports of the latest bathing ban last night. “The treatment plant operator knew they were discharging. Why not tell everyone straight away?”

Chief instructor Kenneth Rumball also noted that the summer sailing season for children is only 12 weeks long, and with the current water notices lasting until at least this Thursday “we now have six days of a short summer lost to this”.

Responding to Irish Water’s claim that the latest overflow ‘happened as it should have happened’, the school said this cuts little ice with the parents of children attending the its courses.

“Parents are equally as exasperated as we are. While all those we spoke with earlier this morning are understanding, they equally feel that Irish Water/the treatment plant operator should get this solved more quickly than they are currently doing.”

Following similar calls by the likes of Green Party Councillor Ossian Smyth, the INSS is urging those with responsibility to immediately progress upgrades for the sewage system at Ringsend Treatment Plant to cope with heavy rainfall — something Irish Water says would require a “huge amount” of investment.

The school also calls for more transparent communication, in real time, if and when discharges are occurring, coupled with pre-emptive warnings and same-day water sampling results.

Commenting on how these water quality issues affect the development of Dun Laoghaire Harbour as a marine leisure destination, Glyn Williams said: “We have to make sure that we get the basics in place before we undertake large scale plans.

“There’s no point in expending time and money when the most basic requirement for water sports is not in place: safe water to operate in.”

Published in INSS

Heavy rains in recent days have led to another wastewater overflow at the Ringsend treatment plant, as well as other pumping stations, that has prompted a new swimming ban at several Dublin Bay beaches.

It marks the second time this month that bathing has been prohibited at Dollymount Strand, Seapoint, Sandycove and the Forty Foot at Sandycove.

Both Dublin City and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown councils say their bans will remain in place pending test for water quality, the first results of which are due on Thursday — in a week where Met Éireann forecasts higher temperatures.

While the bans do not affect Dun Laoghaire Harbour or other beaches in either council area, organisers of water-based sporting events have been advised to take note, as The Irish Times reports.

Notices will be put up on beaches today, Tuesday 25 June, according to RTÉ News.

Update 4.30pm: Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council says tests on an ‘orange slick’ at Sandycove Beach confirm the presence of Noctiluca scintillans, a form of algae, and not raw sewage.

In a statement, the council said the non-toxic species is “a natural summer phenomenon in response to long day length, high nutrients and warm water” and is “not directly associated with the waste water overflows associated with the temporary bathing prohibition”.

 

Published in Sea Swim

Dublin local authorities have issued bathing ban notices for a number of popular swimming spots after a sewage leak at the Ringsend wastewater treatment plant, as RTÉ News reports.

Swimming is currently prohibited along the coast between Dollymount in North Dublin and White Rock Beach in Killiney on the Southside, just beyond Dublin Bay.

The string of bathing spots includes the enduringly popular Forty Foot in Sandycove.

Moreover, Sandymount and Merrion just south of Ringsend — where the wastewater plant was in the news earlier this year over a discharge in the Liffey — have been landed with a swimming ban for the entire 2019 bathing season due to their overall poor water quality.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

This past weekend’s discharge of wastewater in the River Liffey from the Irish Water treatment plant in Ringsend is being investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

As RTÉ News reports, failure of a processing tank at the locally controversial site led to the overflow, which Irish Water confirmed was from an outfall 1km from the plant in the Lower Liffey Estuary in Dublin Bay, around 9am on Saturday (23 February).

Irish Water says the discharge of ‘activated sludge’ — which “does not pose the same risk to public health or the environment as a raw sewage discharge would” — lasted for around 20 minutes.

But drone images captured on Saturday evening showed the persistence and extent of the pollution incident beside the Great South Wall.

The Ringsend wastewater treatment plant is reportedly running at 20% above capacity as it treats two-fifths of all wastewater in Ireland.

As such, its standard discharge “does not comply with the Urban Wastewater Treatment requirements”, according to an Irish Water statement which also confirmed that the EPA conducted an audit of the affected site yesterday (Tuesday 26 February).

Published in Dublin Bay

Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club (CYBC) will host Cormac F. Lowth of the Irish Maritime Archaeological Society who will deliver a free illustrated historic boats lecture, ‘The Sailing Trawlers of Ringsend’ this Friday, October 30th at 8pm.

'Cormac’s talk is a fascinating story of the history of boating building in Ringsend which offers an insight into the life and times of the communities, the builders and the boats they constructed', says CYBC commodore Larry Meany.

There was a thriving industry along the Dodder in the early 1800s where many of the boatyards were based and Cormac has an incredible collection of unique and rare illustrations of the vessels as well as extensive lists of the names and crews of the boats.

'Cormac’s knowledge and interest in this era of history, the boats and people who built and sailed them is incredible. He is spent several years at sea on merchant ships and is the author of many historical and travel articles. Anyone interested in boating, building, or the industry and people in Dublin in the early 1800s will find this illustrated lecture interesting, informative and entertaining says Meany.

The illustrated lecture ‘The Sailing Trawlers of Ringsend’ by Cormac F. Lowth will take place in Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club, Belvedere, Clontarf Road on Friday 30th of October.

Published in Historic Boats

#DublinBay - The Supreme Court has ruled that residents of Ringsend in Dublin can continue their legal challenge to the expansion of the area's sewage treatment plant, as RTÉ News reports.

The planned €270 million extension is part of the Dublin Bay Project that will see a 9km tunnel constructed to enable the discharge of treated sewage far into Dublin Bay.

At present the wastewater is discharged at Ringsend, in the southern part of Dublin's Docklands.

The Sandymount and Merrion Residents' Association argues that the new pipeline would discharge effluent into the newly designated marine conservation area between Rockabill and Dalkey Island.

The High Court's approval of residents' challenge to the granting of planning permission for the development was appealed by the State and Dublin City Council, but that appeal was rejected by the Surpreme Court today (10 October).

A similar sewage scheme in North Co Dublin has also faced objections from residents throughout the Fingal area.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay
Tagged under
Once again the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association's (DBOGA) winter talk programme, makes a welcome return to the Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club, Ringsend, in the heart of Dublin Port.
During the winter / spring program which runs between October and March 2012, there will be five talks, leaving the month of April free for pre-season activities. The first talk is "The Last Leg" which is to be held next Wednesday (12th Oct) starting at 8pm and presented by Pat and Olivia Murphy. They will describe their compelling circumnavigation series with that 'last-leg' from Brisbane in Australia to Langkawi in Malaysia via The Great Barrier Reef, Darwin, Indonesia, and Singapore.

Please note that this inaugural talk of the season is on a Wednesday night which is a change from the normally scheduled Tuesday night, mostly starting at 8pm. Those wishing to attend may wish to arrive a bit earlier so to avail of the PYBC's clubhouse facilities, which overlooks its marina in the centre of Dublin Port, opposite Alexandra Basin.

The venue is located on the South Bank, Pigeon House Road, Ringsend which can be accessed from the Sean Moore Road that connects the Merrion Strand Road (from the south) and the East-Link Toll Bridge (from the north). For further information on the DBOGA lectures and more click HERE. In addition information about the PYBC Tel: (01) 668 9983 or logon to www.poolbegmarina.ie/

Published in Boating Fixtures
Dublin City Council is proposing a mammoth 9km sewage outfall pipe to help make Dublin Bay cleaner - at a cost of €220m.
Herald.ie reports that the 5m-wide pipe - longer than the Dublin Port Tunnel - would dump effluent from the Ringsend treatment plant far offshore, thereby avoiding pollution in the bay and sensitive areas such as Bull Island, which recently lost its EU Blue Flag status for Dollymount Strand.
Plans for the project, which DCC head of waste Pat Cronin described as the "greenest and most economic solution" will be open to public consultation in the near future, with a timetable for completion by 2015.
The pipeline and redeveloped treatment plant will be funded via the Department of the Environment's water services investment programme.

Dublin City Council is proposing a mammoth 9km sewage outfall pipe to help make Dublin Bay cleaner - at a cost of €220m.

Herald.ie reports that the 5m-wide pipe - longer than the Dublin Port Tunnel - would dump effluent from the Ringsend treatment plant far offshore, thereby avoiding pollution in the bay and sensitive areas such as Bull Island, which recently lost its EU Blue Flag status for Dollymount Strand.

Plans for the project, which DCC head of waste Pat Cronin described as the "greenest and most economic solution" will be open to public consultation in the near future, with a timetable for completion by 2015.

The pipeline and redeveloped treatment plant will be funded via the Department of the Environment's water services investment programme.

Published in Dublin Bay
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