Dredging in Cork Harbour - Sept to Oct 2017

Dredging in Cork Harbour - Sept to Oct 2017

Friday 29 September 2017

The Port of Cork Company (POCC) are responsible for maintaining a navigable channel in Cork Harbour;   dredging is necessary to keep the harbour open for commercial shipping and leisure users and we dredge the berths and channel periodically – normally carrying out a major dredging campaign once every three years at a cost of over one million euro.

Occasionally the process disturbs and releases trapped gasses on the riverbed, particularly in the city quays area.  These gasses are the result of de-composing organic matter on the seabed and under the silt.  In some areas there are still the remains of the sewage which was historically pumped untreated directly into the river prior to the commissioning of the Cork Main Drainage System. These areas have a more pungent odour as there are still some gasses released as a result of this historic activity.  On occasion, depending on the wind direction, when the dredger is operating in these areas (particularly near the train station), this odour can be transported to areas of the city. 

Restrictions to minimise discomfort:

  • The vessel only dredges the city quays areas at high tide for a maximum of 40 minutes, twice in a 24 hour period, due to tidal restrictions.
  • We endeavour to keep daytime dredging in these areas to a minimum but we are also conscious that nightime dredging also can cause noise / light disturbance, particularly in built up areas.


  • The current dredging campaign will last for six weeks until the end of October.
  • The city quays element is scheduled to be completed by October 9th.

Safety Measures:

  • The activity has been risk assessed and there are procedures onboard the vessel and within the Port of Cork Company to deal with issues arising.
  • The level of any released gas is continuously monitored onboard the vessel.
  • The vessel has a de-gassification and filtration system.
  • Any gas emitted is diluted to such an extent by the surrounding atmosphere making it unhazardous to human health.
  • Any odour events will be of short duration and are not hazardous or unsafe.

All city and regional agencies and emergency services were notified of the dredging campaign prior to the dredging campaign as required by our Dumping at Sea (DAS / Dredging) License.  This DAS license is granted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and their Compliance team monitor the dredging campaign and are in constant communication with POCC during the campaign. 

We appreciate your cooperation and apologise for any discomfort while we work to keep the harbour open and provide for safe and efficient shipping.

Sara Mackeown
Commercial Marketing Executive
Port of Cork Company
Custom House Street
T12 CY88

Tel: +353 (0) 21 4625 375
Mobile: +353 (0)86 1044011
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