Tenants in an upscale rental construction complex in Dublin rely on slurry tankers to dispose of their wastewater after houses are built without a sewer connection.
Wastewater from the toilets and sinks of the 106 houses is channeled to an on-site holding tank. A tractor and a slurry tank come several times a week to bring it through the city to a sewage treatment plant.
“It’s not what you expect to see in 2021 in a residential suburb of Dublin,” said TD Francis Noel Duffy, who questioned the practice after witnessing it in his neighborhood.
Irish Water says the arrangement is “rare” and is a temporary solution to a capacity problem until the local sewer system is reinforced.
Additional capacity is to be provided next year and the estate, along with two other developments recently granted with a building permit, will then be connected to the electricity grid.
But Mr Duffy questioned the use of temporary solutions for large-scale developments and said there was a risk that the practice would become more common with the expected increase in construction to come.
“Wastewater infrastructure is strained in many places, but that’s hardly the answer,” he said.
“We have to make sure that the infrastructure can keep up with the development. We have the Housing for All program to offer and we cannot do it with temporary solutions.
The arrangement was put in place for the final phase of White Pines development on Stocking Avenue in Rathfarnham last year so that the in-demand estate of three to five bedroom homes could be rented out.
White Pines South homes boast many desirable features, with Class A energy efficiency, broadband, electric car charging points, CCTV security, and in some models, built-in home offices. . They just lack a connection to the sewer.
Irish Water said it was working to improve the capacity of houses and for a White Pines supermarket and apartment development, which have a building permit next to them.
“Irish Water is delivering a local grid strengthening project in Rathfarnham which is expected to be delivered in the second quarter of 2022,” the utility said.
“In order to allow occupancy of the completed houses, and after agreeing that the development will be connected to the permanent solution currently under construction, Irish Water has facilitated the licensed tanker transport of the wastewater discharges to a wastewater treatment plant. waste.
“This and subsequent phases of the development of White Pines in Rathfarnham will be served by the local grid strengthening project fully delivered in 2022.”
Mr Duffy said the situation was symptomatic of a larger problem of lagging infrastructure.
Last week, the Oireachtas Housing Committee heard complaints from a number of members that lack of capacity in regional sanitation infrastructure was delaying much needed housing in towns and villages across the province.
Representatives for Irish Water disputed this claim, saying the utility approved hookups for 34,579 homes last year and only refused 125.
But they admitted to approving connections in some cases by implementing “local solutions” that included creating space for wastewater on local networks by diverting runoff to temporary storage tanks.
Irish Water said it spent 333 million euros on wastewater treatment infrastructure last year and pledged to support the Housing for All program.
“Ongoing investments, coordinated with the planning process, will support the achievement of priority housing developments and urban renewal areas, while supporting national strategies relating to public health, safety and environmental compliance risks”, a- he declared.
“In a location where infrastructure constraints exist, we will work with developers to identify local solutions to facilitate the construction of new housing, as longer term solutions are provided through our capital investment program. . “