Joe MacGrath, county manager, North Tipperary County Council, welcomed the announcement by Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan on the provision of grant assistance for householders whose septic tanks are deemed to require remediation following inspection under the EPA’s National Inspection Plan.
The grants scheme will apply only where a domestic waste water treatment system failed an inspection under the 2012 legislation and where the treatment system had been registered by February 1, 2013. Inspections by water services authorities will get underway this month.
“This inspection system will be of huge benefit to householders, their families and neighbours as it will address any risk to public health and the environment caused by malfunctioning systems. Ensuring clean and safe water will have a positive impact on local tourism, agricultural and food producing sectors,” said Mr MacGrath.
Training of qualified local authority staff and their formal appointment as inspectors by the EPA is underway. The National Inspection Plan provides that a minimum of 1,000 inspections will take place nationally between now and July 2014.
As part of the inspection, treatment systems will be examined to ensure that they are not posing a risk to public health or the environment through leakage or discharges to the surface of the ground or into nearby ditches. There will also be checks to ensure that regulations regarding roof and surface water as well as grey water are complied with.
“Householders will be notified in advance if their septic tank is to be inspected and inspectors will be required to carry identification and to present this on request to householders,” he said.
Registration remains open at local authority offices or at www.protectourwater.ie