Rats and foul smells – yet council insist that sewers are ‘adequately sized’…

Rats and foul smells – yet council insist that sewers are ‘adequately sized’…

By Mary Dennehy

THE construction of two temporary school pre-fabs in Firhouse hit a blockage this week after residents reminded the council of existing issues with the area’s plumbing – with a CCTV survey of the system now being carried out.

Two temporary, prefabricated schools are currently being constructed for Firhouse Educate Together and Gaelscoil na Giuise on a green space close to the estate of Carriglea in Firhouse.

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Works were nearing completion earlier this month when residents noticed that contractors were connecting the school’s plumbing to the existing network, which residents believe is not adequate to support two new schools – due to the regular over-flowing of the system within the estate.

One resident told The Echo: “We’ve had an issue with the system for a long time now, and have had numerous problems with subsidence and excrement flooding the green space at Carriglea View – which has resulted in terrible smells and rats.

“We think there is a crack in one of the pipes, among other issues, and the system simply cannot support the existing pressure.

“If there are existing issues is it not commonsense to not add to it? Why put more pressure on an already strained system?”

According to South Dublin Council, there have been 17 recorded incidents with the sewerage in Carriglea estate since 2007, a situation which the council has branded “average” for the number of properties, approximately 190, in the greater Carriglea area.

In correspondence seen by The Echo, the council also states that the Drainage Section is of the view that the foul sewer system is “more than adequately sized” to accommodate the new schools and existing housing stock.

However, residents have told The Echo that in the interest of health and safety they disagree with the council’s conclusion and dispute its “under-recording” of the number of incidents lodged since 2007.

According to Fine Gael councillor Ann Marie Dermody, who has met with residents, those living locally have claimed that the council’s list represents about one-third of the official complaints made concerning the area’s sewage problem, with the local councillor also being made aware of a problem with the sewage pipe that feeds Carriglea View.

In a letter to the council, Cllr Dermody said: “The matter is simple, either there is a problem with the pipe or there is not. “The best and by far the quickest way in which to resolve this matter is for there to be a camera used to determine the matter.”

She added: “Residents are not being awkward for the sake of it, they have no wish to frustrate or delay the opening of the temporary school, but if there is a risk of overloading an already compromised sewage system then to my mind they have a legitimate concern that needs to be resolved by the council immediately.”

The Echo understands that engineers working on the site have deferred any connection to the existing system until the council carries out its investigation.

A spokeswoman for the council confirmed that Cllr Dermody’s recommendation of a CCTV survey will be carried out, even though the council are not expecting to discover any “capacity issues”.

The two new schools are due to open in the temporary accommodation this September 1.
This week a site notice for the construction of two, two-storey primary schools on the site where the temporary accommodation now lies was erected.

Both schools will consist of 16 classrooms and associated rooms.
The planning application can be viewed on ww.sdcc.ie or is on display in County Hall, Tallaght.

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