Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan T.D. has encouraged owners of septic tanks to avail of the reduced registration fee of €5, before the deadline of this Friday. Speaking in Dail Eireann last week, the Minister thanked the 76,000 householders who have already registered and are playing their part to protect our water.
“I want to take the opportunity to remind people they can only avail of the reduced registration fee of €5 until the 28th of September 2012 after that it will cost €50”, he said. “Anecdotal evidence has shown that the introduction of the registration has already improved our environment with people locating their tanks for the first time in years and getting them de-sludged.
People can register on www.ProtectOurWater.ie There are two main reasons for the implementation of the registration and inspection regime for septic tanks. The key objective 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. Protecting our environment will also have positive economic benefits for the tourism, recreation, agricultural and food-producing sectors, all of which rely on clean water. Clean water is vital for attracting inward investment and to support water hungry sectors such as pharmaceuticals and ICT. The second reason for the legislation is to ensure compliance with the European Court of Justice ruling against Ireland in October 2009 in relation to the treatment of waste waters from septic tanks and other on-site wastewater treatment systems, which the last Government failed to address,” he said. Homeowners who have a septic tank or waste-water treatment system need to register their system by 1st February 2013. The registration fee is €5 until 28th September 2012 increasing to €50 after that date.
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 should pass inspection. Owners of domestic waste-water treatments systems need to: Know where their septic tank is located; Operate and maintain the system so it is fit for purpose and fully operational; The system cannot pollute the environment by discharging/leaking waste anywhere into the ground or any water source; Roof water or surface water run-off cannot enter a domestic waste water treatment system; The system should be de-sludged at intervals appropriate to the tank capacity and the number of persons resident in the premises connected to it or as recommended by the system’s manufacturer. There are three ways people can register their system: Online at www.ProtectOurWater.ie; by Post: Forms can be got in City/County Councils, libraries and Citizens Information Centres or by calling LoCall1890-800 800 for information. Cheques made Payable: ‘Protect Our Water’ and post to: Protect our Water, PO Box 12204, Dublin 7 or at your Local Authority Office (there is no administration fee)