Category Archives: Water / Uisce

Submission to An Bord Pleanála oral hearing in relation to Clonshaugh sewage treatment plant and Ireland’s Eye outfall

At today’s Oral Hearing into the proposed sewage treatment plant, I am making this presentation  focusing on the water quality aspects of the proposal. I have recently become aware of the important biodiversity along the sewer route at Ballymun and I am glad to have the opportunity to include the Ballymun Wildlife Group’s Report on Biodiversity at Northpoint in my  submission.

 

Further consultation on sewage plant and effluent outfall

An Bord Pleanála has written to say that Irish Water omitted documents from its application. There will be a further public consultation until 17th October. Information on this is at http://www.greaterdublindrainage.com/2018/09/07/additional-statutory-consultation-for-gdd/ . My previous submission is here.

Submission in relation to sewage treatment plant in Clonshaugh and effluent outfall at Ireland’s Eye

My submission to An Bord Pleanála focuses in particular on the inadequate assessment of the proposed effluent outfall near Ireland’s Eye and the lack of evaluation of tertiary treatment of the effluent and a longer sea outfall. Continue reading

Fingal trials vinegar and steam instead of weedkillers in Parks

Fingal County Council is reducing pesticide use, implementing policy changes sought by Grern Councillors. This includes both letting wild plants grow in some areas and trialling safer alternatives to conventional pesticides.

As reported to this month’s Council meeting, alternatives including steam and foam are being used to deal with weeds coming up in locations like paving cracks. Visitors to Malahide Demesne may notice the smell of vinegar which is being used as a substitute for the controversial weedkiller Glyphosate.

Commenting on the implementation of the new policy, Cllr. David Healy said: “Phasing out pesticides is vital to protect our insects, particularly the pollinating insects which have such an important role in ecosystems. Our parks and open spaces must be places where nature can thrive. Green thinking says ‘think globally, act locally’ and we are very glad that Fingal is putting this into practice.”

Cllr Roderic O’Gorman commented: “It is good to see Fingal responding to the public concerns at the use of toxic chemicals in public places. As Councillors we hear these concerns first-hand. When people visit their local parks and open spaces, they want to be confident that these are safe and healthy places, in which they can let their children play freely.”

The update given to Fingal County Council’s monthly meeting regarding the plan can be found at p47 of these minutes.

My submission which led to the change in policy (including some photos of non-use of herbicides elsewhere) is available here.

The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is here.

Public consultation on recognition of bathing waters

Fingal County Council is looking for input on identifying bathing waters in Fingal. Many heavily used bathing waters in the County are not recognised and therefore the water quality is not tested in accordance with the Bathing Water Directive. Untested waters include Balscadden Beach (below)

balscadden-beach-howth

High Rock Malahide (below)high-rock-malahide

and Broadmeadow Estuary, intensively used for dinghy sailing and kayaking.

Please respond to the consultation if you swim in any of these areas or in any other area.

Water Framework Directive Areas for Action

I have made the following submission in support of improved catchment management in the Mayne and Santry Rivers, and suggested the addition of the Howth streams to the catchment areas:

There is considerable interest in the area in both freshwater and coastal water. It should be possible to get good public engagement in the RBMP actions in the area.
I welcome the inclusion of the Mayne and Santry rivers. They cover a signficant area and significant population; it should be possible to get considerable public involvement in relation to them. Given the extent of development planned in the Mayne catchment, an objective of ensuring that the development does not lead to a degradation in the status of the river and engagement accordingly with planning and building control could make a significant difference.  I mentioned the Northside Partnership who have developed a proposal for a Greenway along the Santry River. They may be interested in cooperating on the River itself as well.
I suggest that it makes sense to also include the streams in Howth. (Full list at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rivers_of_County_Dublin but of greatest importance are Balsaggart Stream, Whitewater Brook, Gray’s Brook, Offington Stream and (because it discharges onto Claremont Beach) the Bloody Stream)  The Howth streams are all part of the Special Amenity Area and the Management Committee for that Area would be in a position to participate in and assist the measures to be taken to achieve good status for them.
 
It also makes sense to include the coastal waters between where the Santry meets Dublin Bay and Baldoyle Estuary. These Mayne and Santry rivers are both included in the catchment of the Dublin Bay Biosphere Reserve; as the Dublin Bay analysis is looking upstream, it makes sense for the RBMP analysis to also look downstream.
Consultation information at www.watersandcommunities.ie and https://consult.fingal.ie/en/consultation/draft-river-basin-management-plan-%E2%80%93-areas-action

Bathing water identification

Six submissions were received from the public in relation to identifying bathing waters in Fingal. The Council evaluated all of them and decided none of the waters qualified. I had proposed Balscadden Beach and the Broadmeadow Estuary.

In it’s evaluation, Balscadden Beach scored 64 points with a score of 65 required to qualify. Friends of Balscadden Beach will be appealing this ruling.

In relation to Broadmeadow Estuary, there is apparently a legal flaw in the Directive. The evaluation advises:

“The Bathing Water Directive does not recognise inland or coastal waters used for recreational purposes other than contact bathing. Water sports such as surfing, kayaking, or other recreational uses do not in themselves provide reason for identification as ‘bathing water’ unless supported by evidence of bathing within its normal context such as paddling, swimming, or similar water contact.”

I checked with the European Commission who agree with this interpretation. Even if not technically a bathing water it is essential that water quality here is monitored to protect public health and I will follow up.

Progress on link from Claremont Beach Promenade to Claremont Road

Subsequent to agreement at the Area Committee in 2015, the Council is now working on a design to link the promenade at Claremont Beach to Claremont Road, including renovating the public toilets at the beach.

This was the report to today’s meeting:

Howth Malahide Area Committee (Services A – Operational Matters)

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Councillor D. Healy – Fingal Coastal Way- Howth to Baldoyle. AI036624

“That the Chief Executive report on progress in relation to the following motion agreed at this Area Committee in April 2015:

“That the Chief Executive, as part of the Fingal Coastal Way, bring forward a plan for a pedestrian and cycle route from the West Pier along Claremont Beach promenade then by means of a boardwalk or other structure to join Claremont Road at the level crossing, continue along the right-of-way between the two sections of Claremont Road, follow Burrow Road to the level crossing and go down the right-of-way between Lauder’s Lane and also go behind Sutton railway station to link up with Baldoyle Promenade (thereby avoiding two level crossings), and that the possibilities for related improvements to the amenity of Claremont Beach including renovation/replacement of the public toilets provision of improved lifeguard facilities be included in this plan.”

Report:

Operations Department has employed a Consulting Engineering firm to carry out the following at Claremont Beach:

• A preliminary design and visualisation, with costs, for a boardwalk from the public toilet west, as far as Claremont Road.

• Outline design and costs for the foul water drainage of the public toilet. At present there is no foul drainage for the public toilet; tunnelling under the railway may be feasible.

• Advise on the rehabilitation of the public toilet (it is currently in a poor state of repair).

The Consulting Engineer’s Report is expected shortly and when to hand can be discussed with Committee members.

 

Arising from the report, the Committee agreed to my motion that the funding for this work be included in the Capital Programme.