Using Nature-Based Solutions at Roadstone

Monday, October 11th, 2021

The Integrated Constructed Wetland (ICW) at Roadstone’s Belgard Quarry was built to handle the quarry’s drainage waters before their discharge to an adjacent stream. This ecologically engineered approach to water treatment is not only cost effective, but provides habitat for local wildlife within the conurbation of Dublin, demonstrating how effective treatment with optimum outcomes for the wider environment can be achieved in an economical manner.

Designed to yield optimum outcomes intercepting and treating water through the reanimation of a wetland ecosystem, its social, economic and environmental impacts deliver new perspectives for the comprehensive management of water and sustainable environmental commitments. The quality and quantity of the quarry’s drainage, as well as its location, landscape, geology, soils and hydrology, along with necessary economic, social and biodiversity considerations were essential to the ICW’s design and construction. A land survey and desk study showed an area to the southwest of the quarry to be most suitable for the ICW, affording natural protection of
ground water and soils suitable for its construction and operation. Over an 11-week construction period, the site was transformed into a highly aesthetic and diverse natural habitat. The design uses native plants in order to enhance biodiversity. Species of known performance for treating through flowing water were selected, including sweet water grass, common bullrush, narrow leaved bullrush, common iris and common river sedge. Additional native plant species were planted along the margins of each cell and small quantities of aquatic vegetation were planted. The southern boundary of the site was planted with native tree and shrub species to further increase the biodiversity and aesthetic value