Whilst we still on occasion do the waterworks as a long run, I understand from Sean, Sportsworld’s historian, that it was Sportsworld’s ‘original’ regular long run.
The reservoirs at Bohernabreena were built between 1883 and 1887 for the purpose of supplying Rathmines with drinking water and also of ensuring a constant supply of water to the many mills along the River Dodder. At the time, there were forty-five mills served by the Dodder; fifteen were flour mills and the rest were paper, paint, cardboard, cotton, saw, glue and dye mills. Along the Dodder, there were also distilleries, breweries, malt houses, foundries, tanneries and a bacon curing factory.
The two reservoirs originally had differing proposes; the upper one – the one we run past just before the turn towards the ‘Farm loop’ – was used for drinking purposes and the lower one to supply the mills. Peaty water from the mountainous boggy area bypassed the ‘drinking water’ reservoir and supplied the lower one (the one for the mills), while stonier land free from Peat supplied the upper one.
Today the waterworks is still vital to Dublin’s water supply and from it, water is pumped to the Ballyboden Treatment plant where it supplies the city with millions of litres every day.
The bird species present in the area include gulls, kingfisher, dipper, grey wagtail, heron and moorhen which you will also come across on a run down the dodder.
In this historical map, you can see the extent of the entire system from the mountains to Rathmines