IN ADDITION to the property tax, some homeowners are also liable for a one-off septic tank charge of €50.This is due for payment on or before February 1 this year. Payment after that date could lead to possible prosecution and a maximum fine of €5,000. Contrary to popular belief, it is not just septic tanks that need to be registered. Basically any property that is not connected to the main sewerage system will be expected to register. The Septic Tank charge was introduced in February 2012 to address the European Court of Justice ruling against Ireland in October 2009 and to protect ground and surface water quality from the risks posed by malfunctioning systems. The €50 fee is payable to cover the costs of administration by the water services authorities and of the risk-based inspections to be carried out. Inspections will commence after the end of the registration period in 2013. Unlike the property tax system, there are no exemptions but provision is being made in the Rural Water Programme 2013 for a grant scheme to provide financial assistance to those households whose domestic waste water treatment systems are deemed, following inspection, to require remediation or upgrading. The level of grant available will be dependent on the income of the household. The grant assistance will only be available to householders who have registered their system by February 1 2013.