REGISTRATION HAS OPENED for owners of septic tanks.
Owners of domestic wastewater treatment systems are now required to register their systems, which is in accordance to an amendment made to the Water Services Act.
The forms can be picked up from local authority offices; public libraries and citizen information centres.
You can also access one by phoning Protect Our Water on Lo-Call 1890 800 800 or visiting the Protect Our Water website.
The registration fee, which is described as “modest” is €5 for the first three months of registration, until 28 September 2012.
After this date, a €50 fee applies, and this must be paid on or before 1 February 2013.
This fee covers the costs of administration by the water services authorities and risk-based inspections. There will be no charge for inspections of the septic tanks.
There was a delay in beginning registration, despite government insistence that the legislation underpinning the charge was urgently needed in order to avoid fines resulting from a ruling of the European Court of Justice.
In 2009 the court had found that Ireland’s failure to enforce septic tank standards was in breach of an EU directive dating back to 1975.
The legislation was signed into law in early February and in March Environment Minister Phil Hogan published a consultation document discussing the new regulations.
Protests against the septic charge took place in a number of cities around Ireland after the legislation was announced, due to fears that the legislation unfairly targets rural Ireland and that owners of septic tanks will face further costs if works are needed.
Deputy Mattie McGrath
Earlier today, Independent TD Mattie McGrath was thrown out of an Oireachtas committee meeting after accusing Minister Hogan of telling “untruths” about the registrations.
Deputy McGrath said that the Minister had misled the public by insisting that the registrations for tank inspections would begin on April 1 and that the €50 charge could not be removed.
He refused to withdraw his use of the word ‘lies’ when asked and left the room during the meeting.