Project Introduction

The Greater Dublin Drainage project aims to provide strategic drainage infrastructure that the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) requires for its continued social and economic development. The initiative involves the provision of a new wastewater treatment works, a marine outfall, and a new drainage network in the northern part of the Greater Dublin Area.

The Greater Dublin Drainage project will:

  • safeguard public health
  • improve and protect the environment and
  • facilitate employment, social progress & economic growth in the wider Dublin region.

Greater Dublin Drainage is about providing long term sustainable wastewater drainage and treatment for the Greater Dublin Area (GDA).

Throughout the Dublin region there is a vast system of pipes, pumps, and treatment plants that remove and treat our wastewater. For the past century the growth of the Dublin Region – and the health of its citizens – has been underpinned by the expansion of this system which has mostly discharged to the wastewater treatment plant located in Ringsend. Previous generations put in place the drainage and wastewater solutions that facilitated our progress; as the Ringsend plant will reach the limit of its capacity in the near future, our challenge is to do the same for the next generation.

We must ensure that enterprise and social development can flourish and that our environment is protected for generations to come. We must take the opportunity to unlock the potential of our region by providing vital, long-term, sustainable wastewater drainage and treatment.

The GDD project is necessary to meet the Water Framework Directive (WFD) requirements and other relevant EU Directives and National Regulations related to water quality.

What’s Happening Now?

2014 – 2017 Environmental Studies, EIS

Irish Water is currently undertaking studies towards preparing an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and Natura Impact Statement (NIS) for the GDD project, which will be submitted as part of the application for planning permission to An Bord Pleanála in 2018. An Bord Pleanála – the independent planning authority – will assess and determine the outcome of the planning application

What happens next?
Planning Stage: 2018

The planning application, including an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and Natura Impact Statement (NIS), will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála in 2018.

This will be followed by a statutory public consultation run by An Bord Pleanála.

Design & Procurement: 2019 – 2020 approximately

Subject to the planning permission being granted, the GDD team will then hold a procurement process to appoint a team to design, build and operate the project. This stage will take approximately 18 months to 2 years and will require detailed design, tender processes, funding agreements and contract signing.


Construction: 2021 – 2024

Construction is estimated to take approximately three years and will begin, at the earliest, in 2021. The new plant should therefore be ready for operation when it is required, in line with the Dublin region’s need for additional wastewater treatment capacity as identified in the Greater Dublin Strategic Drainage Study (GDSDS).