07.02.12 - Registration Fee for Septic Tanks Reduced
The Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government Phil Hogan T.D. has set out the Government’s proposals for the registration and inspection of septic tanks.
Minister Hogan announced a reduced inspection fee for the first three months.
He said “To act as an incentive for owners to register early, I have decided to set the registration fee at €5 instead of the proposed €50 for the first three months. I would encourage people to register before the 30th June 2012 and avail of the lower fee.”
The deadline for registration is March 2013.
“We are adopting a very practical approach to the inspection guidelines. Once my Department’s consultation with the EPA and the European Commission has been completed, I will formally announce the guidelines in two weeks which will be followed by a four week public consultation period.”
Practical Operational Requirements That Will Be Included In the Guidelines:
1. Ensuring that roof water or surface water run-off is not allowed enter the treatment system
2. That grey-water from washing machines and sinks is being treated in the system
3. Are the pipe-works and vents of a system blocked or obstructed
4. Are manhole covers and other components of the system of good working order or sealed where appropriate
5. Any mechanical or electrical components of the system, for example pumps or alarms, are fit for purpose
6. Recommendations will be included regarding the frequencies with which systems should be emptied or de-sludged
“The risk-based system of inspections will commence in 2013 and will be objective and evidence-based, i.e. unless there is evidence of endangerment of human health or the environment, the system in place will pass inspection. There is no question of applying the EPA’s 2009 Code of Practice to older onsite systems.”
The President has signed into law the Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012. This Legislation has been introduced for three reasons:
Non-compliance with EU legislation: On October 29th 2009, the European Court of Justice ruled against Ireland in relation to the treatment of waste waters from septic tanks and other onsite wastewater treatment systems. The enactment of this legislation is a critical element in Ireland’s defence against the imposition of hefty fines by the Court.
Protect ground water in rural Ireland: The key objective of the new legislation is to enhance and protect public health and the environment which will, in turn, benefit rural dwellers in terms of a better quality of life and better quality water. Responsibility for protection of public health and the environment applies to everyone, whether living in urban or rural areas.
Protect jobs: The provision of a continuous supply of clean water is a fundamental requirement for the economy. High quality water and security of supply is vital to attract foreign direct investment, high-end employment and meet the needs and demands of our existing businesses and communities.
Under the legislation anyone who owns a septic tank or a waste-water treatment system needs to register before March 2013. After the four week public consultation period has been completed and the regulations have been published, a registration system will be in place by March 31st 2012. There will be an online registration system and a facility for written registration also.
For more information on the registration of septic tanks, please visit www.environ.ie.