Hogan insists septic inspections essential
Published 20/09/2011 | 05:00
Environment Minister Phil Hogan has rejected suggestions that the new inspection regime for septic tanks is a "money-generating exercise".
Outlining the proposals last week, Minister Hogan said the measures were necessary to protect water quality and the environment.
He said the inspection regime was essential for Ireland to comply with European water quality directive, and he reiterated that a 2009 European Court ruling meant non-compliance would result in the imposition of a €2.7m lump-sum penalty and continuing fines of €26,000 per day.
"While the majority of septic tanks may be working well, and in those cases the householders should have nothing to worry about, those tanks that are not working properly may be polluting groundwater and contaminating our drinking water supplies and must be remediated," Mr Hogan said.
The key features of the proposed new system:
•All householders with septic tanks and other onsite systems will be required to register details of their system with the relevant local authority and a national register will be compiled and held by the EPA;
•Householders will be required to pay a registration fee of up to €50;
•Following the initial registration, householders will not be required to re-register their systems for five years; n While inspections would be concentrated on areas with higher risk to the environment and public health, they will also be carried out in lower risk areas but at a lower rate;