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National inspection plan for septic tanks published

Phil Hogan has thanked all who registered their septic tanks and said the “silent majority” supported the legislation.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan
Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan
Image: Wanderley Massafelli/Photocall Ireland

THE NATIONAL INSPECTION plan for septic tanks has been published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The move was welcomed by Environment Minister Phil Hogan, who said that it will “underpin the risk-based inspection of septic tanks and other on-site treatment systems”.

He thanked all of the householders who have registered their domestic waste water treatment systems, describing those who supported the legislation as the “silent majority”.

He said that the “reckless members of the Opposition” “have already cost liable households an additional €45 as a result of their campaign of non-registration”, and asked them to “cease their irresponsible behaviour so that those households do not run the additional risk of legal action”.

The European Commission said today that Ireland has now adopted all the measures necessary to ensure compliance with the 2009 Court of Justice judgement on the issue, which was welcomed by the Minister and the EPA.

Registration

More than 410,000 liable households – 82 per cent of septic tank owners – have registered their systems to date.

The Minister said that householders whose systems are being maintained and are not causing pollution have “nothing to fear”.

Inspections will be carried out by fully trained and experienced local authority officials who will carry identification. Inspections will be scheduled with households at least 10 days in advance and will commence from the middle of 2013.

The national inspection plan can be viewed on the EPA website.

The EPA said that inspection:

will be concentrated in areas where waste water discharges present a high risk to human health or the environment. Priority areas are based on levels of risk to sensitive water receptors, for example, drinking water sources, bathing waters, or pearl mussel beds.

A grant scheme is to be set up to provide financial assistance to households whose septic tanks and other domestic wastewater treatment systems are said to require remediation following an inspection.

The grant scheme will only apply to treatment systems which are the subject of an Advisory Notice issued by a water services authority following an inspection. Full details of the grants scheme will be set out in regulations later this year.

Read: Ireland still paying €12k-a-day fine for septic tank compliance failure>

Read: Hogan: 80% of liable households registered septic tanks by the deadline>

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