Leitrim County Manager Martin Dolan has welcomed the announcement by Minster Phil Hogan in relation to septic tank grant assistance.
Mr. Dolan outlined that the grants scheme will apply only where a domestic waste water treatment system fails an inspection carried out under the 2012 legislation and where the treatment system had been registered by the due date of February 1. He advised that inspections by water services authorities will get underway this month.
Mr. Dolan commented that, “This inspection system will be of huge benefit to householders, their families and neighbours as it will address any risk to public health and the environment caused by malfunctioning systems ensuring clean and safe water will have a positive impact on local tourism, agricultural and food producing sectors.”
Training of qualified local authority staff, and their formal appointment as inspectors by the EPA, is underway. The National Inspection Plan provides that a minimum of 1,000 inspections will take place nationally between now and July 2014. As part of the inspection, treatment systems will be examined to ensure that they are not posing a risk to public health or the environment through leakage or discharges to the surface of the ground or into nearby ditches.
There will also be checks to ensure that regulations regarding roof and surface water, as well as grey water, are complied with.
Mr. Dolan advised, “Householders will be notified in advance if their septic tank is to be inspected and inspectors will be required to carry identification and to present this on request to householders.”
The County Manager also welcomed the signing of regulations providing for an exemption from planning permission for works arising from an inspection under the National Inspection Plan.
A new series of leaflets which provide practical information regarding inspections, operation and maintenance of septic tanks and other systems and the risk to private wells will be available in the coming days from local authority offices, libraries and Citizens Information Centres.
Registration remains open and persons who are liable to register are requested to do so as soon as possible. People can register at Leitrim County Council’s Office in Carrick-on-Shannon or at www.protectourwater.ie.