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Minister Phil Hogan announced on Tuesday June 26th that he was commencing the introduction of registration for domestic waste water treatment systems (including septic tanks) or what is commonly referred to as the Septic Tank Inspection Charge. The owners of domestic waste water treatment systems will be required to register such systems with their water services authority. In the case of those who own domestic properties in County Longford the County Council is the relevant authority. A once-off registration fee must be paid when the initial application is being made. A reduced Registration Fee of €5.00 will apply in respect of applications that are made on or before 28th September 2012. The full Registration Fee which is €50.00 will apply in respect of applications that are made after that date. Owners will be required to renew their registration every five years but no fees will be payable in respect of re-registration applications.
If you require additional information it may be available on the following dedicated website. www.protectourwater.ie
Having a register of domestic water treatment systems will enable the planning and implementation of an inspection programme. Any inspections that are carried out will check that systems are working properly so that water including groundwater, surface water and drinking water, can be protected from the risks posed by malfunctioning systems. This initiative will ultimately enhance and protect public health and the environment which will, in turn, benefit everyone in terms of a better quality of life and improved water quality.
How to register?
For anyone who wants to make an application to register a Domestic Waste Water System the following are the options available to them.
The Environmental Protection agency is working on finalizing all matters relating to inspection programmes, inspection standards and related matters. What is clear at this stage is that an inspection programme will be implemented and that it will be risk-based. Not every system will be inspected initially and factors including proximity to drinking water sources, rivers, lakes and streams will be taken into account when decisions are being made in relation to which systems will be inspected.
Important message regarding inspections:
At this stage the indications are that inspections under the new system will commence in 2013. The commencement of inspections will be widely advertised and discussed in the national and local media. People should take care not to allow uninvited persons, or persons claiming to be inspectors, to enter onto their property in advance of the launch of inspections. Inspectors will be required to carry identification and members of the public are entitled to see official identification before permitting anyone to enter their property.