Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Sunday 24 September 2017

Opposition slam septic charges

Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

Newly published charges that will affect more than 400,000 rural households have been heavily criticised by opposition parties.

In an effort to avoid EU fines of €2.6m and daily fines of €26,000, risk-based inspections targeted at drinking-water sources or habitats will commence in 2013.

Under the Bill, householders will be required to register details of their septic tanks with their local authority in order to compile a national register.

This will cost each household €50 and re-registration will be required every five years. The revenue generated will be used to fund a local authority inspection regime.

If a tank fails to pass this inspection, the householder will be required to upgrade their system.

Fianna Fail TDs slammed the proposals, claiming that they could end up costing individual households €12,000.

"If a household appeals an inspector's findings and subsequently has to carry out upgrade works, the cost between inspection charges and registration charges could be up to €450," said Fianna Fail's Eamon O Cuiv.

"Where a person with a septic tank is forced to replace it with a proprietary treatment plant, it could cost up to €12,000."

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IFA environment chairman Pat Farrell has called for clarification that the registration charge will be a once-off.

"A retro-fit scheme must be part of the solution, which provides tax relief and grant support, where new or upgraded systems are needed," he said.

Darragh McCullough

Indo Farming