herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Sewage flowing into Liffey on City Council's doorstep

A DUBLIN councillor has told of his disgust at seeing raw sewage and toilet paper in the River Liffey yesterday afternoon.

Mannix Flynn said that the sewage could be seen in the water flowing past the Civic Offices on Wood Quay.

The disgusting matter was flowing down the river in the direction of O'Connell Street, he said.

"There was a vast amount of sewage pouring into the Liffey," Mr Flynn said.

Unacceptable

"Many people were looking at it. For it to happen in this day and age in a capital city is totally unacceptable.

"There was absolutely no doubt that it was sewage, with lots of lavatory paper floating in the water.

"Also, you could get a repugnant sewage smell," he said.

"It spread quickly and rapidly and the water changed colour," Mr Flynn said.

Mr Flynn said that he first became aware that a problem was unfolding as he was walking across the nearby bridge when crowds of seagulls descended on the water and he looked in to see what is happening.

It is not unusual to see debris and traffic cones dumped in the Liffey, he pointed out.

However, he was not expecting the sight that greeted him.

"It is outrageous to have raw sewage cascading into the Liffey," he said.

"The infrastructure is clearly failing."

Mr Flynn said that it was clearly evident that it was toilet paper dotting the water.

The councillor questioned what impression tourists would have if they saw this sight while visiting the city - as well what effect it might have on any animal or plant life in the Liffey.

Meanwhile, Mr Flynn told the Herald that he is going to raise the matter at a meeting of Dublin City Council's strategic policy environment group at the end of the month.

A spokesperson for Irish Water said: "Combined sewers are a feature of our drainage network, and in times of heavy rain, will take excess water out of the network and can flush through the contents of a combined sewer directly into the River Liffey.

Overflow

"We are currently doing a major network modelling study of the Dublin city centre drainage system which will identify the scale of the problem, both flood risk and overflow, and based on that we hope to develop solutions," she added. "The overall cost will be hundreds of millions."

The spokeswoman said that the Liffey interceptor sewers were laid down in 1906.

"In other words, for over 100 years the issue reported to you today has been on going," she added.

fdillon@herald.ie

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