New cost for septic tanks
Almost half a million Irish households have septic tanks or other waste treatment systems. The owners of these properties constitute a powerful lobby, which has already forced Environment Minister Phil Hogan to make one U-turn.
Yesterday, three months after the expected date, Mr Hogan announced the details of the forthcoming charges and inspection regime. Owners must register before February 1 or face a fine of up to €5,000. Registration will cost €5 before September 28. After that the fee will rise to €50.
Tanks must be pumped out periodically at a cost of up to €250. Upgrading or replacement could cost €6,000. The Environment Department will provide "some" financial assistance. It takes no great imagination to envisage the scale of the controversies and protests that could lurk down the line.