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HomeFarming NewsGrants of up to €5,000 for septic tank replacement
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Grants of up to €5,000 for septic tank replacement

More than half of the 1,160 septic tanks and other domestic wastewater treatment systems failed inspection in 2019, according to a new report.

A lack of maintenance and desludging was identified as a key issue by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The local authorities identified more serious issues with close to 300 systems where they were found to be a risk to human health or the environment.

Septic tank grant scheme

The EPA also reported that the grant scheme for septic tanks has recently been expanded to cover specific areas where work is being focused to improve water quality under the national river basin management plan.

Grants of up to €5,000 are being offered by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to fix domestic waste-water treatment systems.

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The grant is available for systems:

  • That fail under the National Inspection Plan;
  • That are located in high-status objective catchment areas identified in the river basin management plan;
  • Where they are identified by local authorities in Priority Areas for Action (areas where action to address water quality is being focussed under the River Basin Management Plan).

Simple systems to maintain septic tank

Commenting on the report, Dr. Tom Ryan, director of the EPA’s office of environmental enforcement said, “If you do not maintain your septic tank, it can contaminate your own or your neighbour’s well, putting your health at risk and that of your family and neighbours. It may also pollute your local stream or river.”

“You can take simple steps to maintain your septic tank by cleaning it out regularly and by making sure it is not leaking, ponding or discharging to ditches.”

The EPA also found that 27% of systems that failed inspections during 2013-2019 are still not fixed and local authorities need to take action to make sure householders fix systems that fail.

‘A serious health risk’

 Noel Byrne, EPA senior inspector said, “It is important that householders fix systems where problems are detected and be aware that they can pose a serious health risk.”

“While there has been an improvement in the number of systems fixed, there are still many systems where faults are not addressed over a number of years.”

“This requires increased engagement and enforcement by local authorities to address remaining failures.” Byrne concluded.

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