Slurry tankers used to remove sewage from new housing estate
The White Pines estate on Stocking Avenue

Slurry tankers used to remove sewage from new housing estate

A LOCAL TD believes a national audit is needed to flush out any issues surrounding water infrastructure capacity for housing developments.

Issues around wastewater capacity received national attention this week, after it emerged that slurry tankers are being used to remove sewage from a new estate in Rathfarnham.

The waster water from around 100 homes in White Pines on Stocking Avenue is currently being pumped into a holding tank located at the entrance to the estate.

This holding tank is then emptied by slurry tankers.

When contacted by The Echo this week, Irish Water said that additional waste capacity in Rathfarnham, which will cater for White Pines, is due to be delivered in the second quarter of 2022.

At the recent Joint Oireachtas Housing Committee meeting, Dublin South West TD Franis Noel Duffy highlighted issues surrounding water infrastructure capacity for housing developments.

“Considering the housing crisis, and the Housing for All plan, the government has set in place the provision of legislation and funding to mitigate the housing crisis,” Deputy Duffy said.

“However, there are a number of log jams in the system, including labour to meet construction projects, but bigger than this is the provision of water and wastewater infrastructure.

“Therefore, it is of paramount importance that the first thing that has to happen is a full national audit to realise capacity issues.”

He added: “I have heard [here at the Oireachtas meeting] and in the Dáil chamber on numerous occasions concerns of how wastewater is stalling the commencement of housing construction all over the country and in particular in our towns and villages.

“I can also offer an example of a new estate in Dublin where the wastewater is being stored in an industrial scale tank and being removed by a slurry tanker on at least a weekly basis.

“This being allowed to happen is shocking to me as a practitioner in the construction space, it does not seem appropriate in our times, and I question its compliance in a planning context.”

Speaking to The Echo after the Oireachtas meeting, Deputy Duffy re-iterated his calls for a national audit and register of wastewater systems to identify where there is capacity, or lack of.

When contacted by The Echo, Irish Water confirmed that a tanker system is in place in White Pines.

“Irish Water received an application for White Pines to connect homes to the wastewater network after construction had started,” an Irish Water spokesperson said.

“When contacted Irish Water informed the applicant that due to capacity constraints and the risk additional flow would have on the local wastewater network, we weren’t in a position to connect the development.

“Irish Water were also able to confirm that as part of our ongoing investment in wastewater services, a Local Network Reinforcement project was underway which would provide additional wastewater capacity in Rathfarnham.

“This project is programmed to be delivered in the second quarter of 2022 and will cater for White Pines.

“On the request of the developer and in order to facilitate people moving into homes, in advance of connection to the wastewater network, Irish Water entered into a licenced tankering arrangement where foul wastewater for approximately 100 homes is tankered to a wastewater treatment plant.”