Inspectors to target off-register septic tanks
on 20/02/2013 00:00:00
Latest figures show that while about 500,000 homes in Ireland have domestic waste water treatment systems, 18% missed the Feb 1 deadline for registering a septic tank.
As part of the inspections scheme, certain areas will be prioritised, starting with those who have not registered.
Any household being inspected will be notified 10 days in advance.
The EPA said it was keen to prioritise homes where drinking water might be affected.
Gerard O'Leary, EPA director, said: "There are around 500,000 homes in Ireland with domestic waste water treatment systems - our goal is to have every single one of those working effectively.
"If treatment systems are not working properly, they can pose significant risks to people's health and to the environment.
"The national inspection plan initially focuses on a campaign to advise, educate, and help people to operate and maintain their systems."
Anyone who missed the deadline for registering their septic tank will be unable to draw down any grants and face covering the costs themselves.
Environment Minister Phil Hogan said that householders whose systems are being maintained and are not causing pollution, had nothing to fear from the implementation of the inspection plan.
Mr Hogan also labelled opposition parties "reckless" for their "irresponsible behaviour" in opposing the septic tank charges.
The EPA also welcomed the announcement Ireland was now compliant with the Court of Justice judgment in Case C-188/08, in which the European Commission had ruled against Ireland on the grounds that domestic waste waters were being discharged through septic tanks in the countryside.