Irish Water is set to begin work on the long-awaited Blanchardstown Regional Drainage Scheme to upgrade the wastewater network and provide flood relief.

The €88 million project will upgrade the sewer network serving Blanchardstown, Mulhuddart and Castleknock and parts of Meath.

The main body of works will be contained within an area of Waterville Park to enable the construction of an underground storm water facility and pumping station.

In all, the scheme is expected to take three years, with 3km of new pipes along Tolka Valley Park which will be installed by trenchless tunnelling methods to keep disruption to a minimum.

Cllr Paul Donnelly (SF) welcomed news that the project was about to get under way and said the tunnelling method was far preferable to digging an open trench as was originally proposed.

He told Dublin Gazette: “The idea is to minimise the damage to the park itself and tunnelling will protect the vast majority of it.

“The fact that it will prevent flooding is a huge bonus because we’ve had a lot of problems along the N3 with flooding in recent years.

“I have a couple of concerns around noise and odours. But Irish Water have said there will be no trucks late at night and generators will be muffled. They’ve also assured that the vents coming from the pipes will not be an issue.”

He added: “At the end of the day this is a vital piece of infrastructure to prevent flooding and manage sewerage capacity into the future.”

Irish Water says it will notify the local community and elected representatives in advance of any works and provide further updates, along with contact details for the Project Team, throughout the project.

IW spokesman John Joyce said: “This project is needed to provide Blanchardstown and surrounding areas with the infrastructure needed to support the building of houses, schools, attract new industry and allow companies to expand and grow.”

Once completed, the network is expected to safeguard the environment by reducing the frequency and volume of untreated wastewater overflows into the River Tolka.

The underground storm water management facility will have a capacity of around 30,000 cubic metres.

The expanded capacity of the scheme will also facilitate existing and future residential and commercial development.

Traffic management plans and temporary pedestrian routes will be in place to maintain access to Tolka Valley Park, with construction areas closed off for health and safety reasons.