Minister for Environment, Community & Local Government, Phil Hogan TD, has announced the performance standards for septic tanks.
The regulations require that owners of domestic waste-water treatments systems:
- Know where their septic tank is located;
- Operate and maintain the system so it is fit for purpose and fully operational;
- Ensure their system can not pollute the environment by discharging/leaking waste;
- Ensure roof water or surface water run-off can not enter a domestic waste water treatment system;
- De-sludge at intervals appropriate to the tank capacity and the number of persons resident in the premises.
In addition to the above regulations, those in possession of a septic tank or waste water treatment system are required to register their system by February 1, 2013. There is a reduced rate of €5 available to those who register before September 28, 2012 while those registering after this date will pay an increased fee of €50.
Following the registration of all septic tanks, an inspection regime will be implemented in 2013 whereby systems will pass the inspection unless there is evidence of endangerment of human health or the environment. There will be no charge for inspection.
The risk-based system of inspections is in line with new legislation regarding septic tanks introduced in February of this year. According to the Minister the new legislation will “enhance and protect public health and the environment” and “ensure compliance with the European Court of Justice ruling against Ireland in October 2009 in relation to the treatment of waste waters from septic tanks”.
People can register their septic tanks online, by post or at their local authority office.