MORE than 400,000 households will have to register their septic tanks by February 1 next or face the prospect of being fined up to €5,000.
The Government today announced new rules on septic tanks which will oblige homeowners to make sure they are working properly and not polluting water.
An inspection regime will begin next year, Environment Minister Phil Hogan said, adding it would cost households €5 to register their tank up to September 28 next, after which it would increase to €50.
There will be no charge for inspections.
The inspection regime is being introduced after the European Court of Justice ruled that Ireland was not doing enough to protect drinking water sources.
Mr Hogan said that in a small number of cases, septic tanks might have to be upgraded. Some financial assistance might be available, he added.
Registration will last for five years, and there will be no fee for second or subsequent registrations.
Registration can be completed online at www.protectourwater.ie by credit or debit card, by post, or at local authority offices