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Storm drainage
'plant pots' put to test in city

Dublin City Council is trialling new rainwater drainage systems in the capital with results expected this spring.

Specially built drain pipes have been attached to planters on three properties in Ormond Square, near the quays in Dublin.

The rainwater runs down into the planters and is used for the watering of the plants and flowers.

The purpose of the trial is to examine whether the pipes and planters can help to reduce storm water in the city.

So far it has cost the council €500 to trial.

Shane Waring of the city architects office is behind the trial and said that so far "the three residents have loved them."


When the trial wraps up after Christmas, various elements will be measured to see whether the project was a success or not.

In conjunction with the trialling section of the council the new drainage project was developed with the Drainage and Wastewater section.

Whilst lillies and other flowers have bloomed in the large, ground-level planters this summer, the aesthetic value alone is not a measure of success
for the scheme.

Mr Waring explained that the drainage department in
the council look on payback 15 years after a project
has been completed, as a significant success when running projects.

But with the new drainage trial, payback could be seen in as little as eight years.

The project will be measured by a number of factors including whether the residents like them, if they attract litter or not because they are at ground level and do they make the street or area nicer.

If it is agreed that the project was a success the council will look at implementing the plan across the city.

"We'll look at how scalable it is," explained Mr Waring.

It will also be examined as to who should maintain the planters that are watered
 by the storm drains - if they are the responsibility of the tenant or house owner or the council.

Another concern is whether the planters are over-watered in times of heavy rain.

"At the moment they seem to be going OK," said the architect.

The drain pipes and planters were installed last February.

And despite a summer of sunshine, Dublin suffered considerably in the heavy rainfall last weekend, with flooding across the city.

It caught Dublin off-guard, resulting in many road closures.

Two prisoners were moved from Ballymun Garda Station due to flooding.


Dublin City Council's rain gauges recorded a high reading of 84mm.

Up to 30 council staff were deployed to deal with the heavy rainfall, the council said in a statement.

"Crews from our drainage and cleansing sections are on standby to deal with issues arising from flooding incidents and we can draw on the additional resources of the Civil Defence if required," read a statement from the council.