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Dublin City’s underground sewage upgrade

Irish Water and Dublin City Council will be working together to upgrade the old sewage system that runs beneath the city.  

The underground sewage network dates back to Georgian times, with some tunnels dating back 150 years. The sewer system has worn down, and is collapsing due to its age, under-investment and limited maintenance, according to Irish Water.  

“It’s clear that our capital’s sewage system is in need of modernisation and upgrades, especially in more historical parts of the city centre and the city core,” Councillor Darragh Moriarty (Labour) of the southwest inner city area, said. 

“All of the focus in the current draft Dublin City Development Plan we are working on, which is to last us from 2022-2028, is on growing Dublin in a compact, sustainable manner.” 

Moriarty added that as Dublin city’s population continues to grow, it is important that the water system supporting the city centre is “up to scratch”. 

“This is an essential and badly needed project for Dublin City.” 

Mark duffy, irish water

The work will begin below ground in the coming weeks and will address a wide range of issues including sewer collapses and blockages, foul odours, sewer flooding in business premises and long-term disruption to road users due to ongoing maintenance, Irish Water said.  

“A stretch of 2km of the tunnels will be rehabilitated and reinforced,” according to Irish Water. 

The construction will take place in the following areas: Dorset Street, Wellington Street, Eccles Street, Saint Joseph’s Parade, Saint Joseph’s Place, Saint Augustine Street, Mount Street Crescent, Herbert Lane , South Great George Street, Fade Street and Stephen Street Upper.  

Irish Water has stated that the crews will make every effort to minimise the impact of these works on the local community.  

The project is due to take up to six months to finish.  

GMC Utilities Group Ltd, a company that specialises in brick sewer rehabilitation, has been recruited by Irish Water to carry out the project.  

Regional Delivery Lead with Irish Water, Mark O’Duffy said, “this is an essential and badly needed project for Dublin city. 

“These sewers collect the waste of thousands of Dubliners so we need to make sure they continue providing this vital service for at least another 100 years,” O’Duffy added.

Councillor Máire Devine (Sinn Féin), also of southwest inner city, said, “At last – a 150-year-old infrastructure it is desperately due an upgrade.” 

She said that local people have always mentioned problems with the drainage. “in every plan in submission, the locals always refer to the drainage because they [have] had difficulties.”  

Devine said that she ‘welcomes’ the sewage system upgrade, as the people living within the inner city are depending on an “already shaky infrastructure of great concern”. 

The construction will take place underground using trenchless technology – a construction method to reline existing sewers – without the need for tunneling or excavation.  

Dublin City Centre, Source: Rene Melia
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