New project to boost water quality in Grand Canal Basin

An aerial view of the Grand Canal Basin and the river Liffey

Tony McCullagh

Details of a major new project aimed at improving water quality in the Grand Canal Basin have been revealed by Dublin City Council.

A planning application for the second phase of the Grand Canal Storm Water Outfall Extension is expected to be lodged with An Bord Pleanála early next year.

It will involve the installation of a new pipeline to the River Liffey, via Asgard Road, together with the construction of an outfall structure at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay.

In total, 450m of pipeline will be installed within the Grand Canal Basin, with 100m running along the existing road and pedestrian infrastructure on Hanover Quay.

The completed project, which is being co-funded by Irish Water, will see the current storm water overflow being channelled from the confined Grand Canal Dock area and discharged into the Liffey.

A water quality model is currently being developed to assess the impact, if any, on the Liffey and Dublin Bay. An Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) will also be submitted.

Phase 1 of the scheme was completed in 2002 with the construction of a pipeline along Asgard Road between Hanover Quay and Sir John Rogerson’s Quay. Provision was made at the time for the future connection of the Phase 2 pipelines, but the project was put on hold in 2012.

In 2017, a working group established by Irish Water, Dublin City Council and Waterways Ireland determined that the cause of ongoing pollution in the basin was due to discharge from the surface water section of the Grand Canal Tunnel, which was built in the early 1970s.

While the Grand Canal Basin is a popular location for watersports, such as kayaking, wind surfing and paddleboarding, Dublin City Council says swimming in the docks is “forbidden and considered dangerous”.

It believes the proposed works will improve water quality and enhance the amenity and recreational value of the area.

Niall Armstrong, Project Manager with Dublin City Council, said: “Water quality in the area suffers badly after heavy rainfall, and this outfall extension will greatly improve it and significantly increase the potential for recreational use.”

The Grand Canal Basin is under the control of Waterways Ireland, which has welcomed the project. A public webinar will be held this Thursday at 7pm, where full details of the scheme will be outlined.

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