Dr Eoghan Clifford: A positive step both for the environment and water resource protection
New legislation, which provides for the registration and inspection of domestic wastewater treatment systems, including septic tanks, can be regarded as a positive step both for the environment and water resource protection as well as for households with such systems. Such a registration and inspection regime is also necessary if Ireland is to avoid future action from the EU under the Waste Directive.
Septic tank systems, in particular, have received much attention recently but it should be noted that every household with an on-site wastewater treatment system will be required to register that system. Such systems include ‘package wastewater treatment systems’, which have been used in many newer builds over recent years.
The septic tank’s primary role is to allow settlement of solids whereas a percolation areas primary role is the biological treatment of effluent from the septic tank. Thus percolation areas are vital to the performance of septic tank systems and indeed all domestic wastewater treatment systems. Where septic tank systems and the associated percolation areas have been appropriately designed, situated, installed and maintained they provide a robust, efficient and cost-effective method of treating domestic wastewaters.