Leitrim County Council is reminding those with septic tank waste water treatment systems that inspections will begin shortly.
DID YOU KNOW?
· Contaminated water from septic tanks can carry pathogens (bacteria/germs/bugs) and harmful chemicals that can cause serious illness to humans and damage to the environment. Poorly designed or improperly operated septic tanks are in danger of contaminating our water sources. Private well water supplies are at particular risk, as they depend on good quality water coming directly from the ground.
· A properly installed and well maintained septic tank system located in the right site with the right soil conditions will protect your health, your local environment and your pocket.
The third National Inspection Plan (2018-2021) was published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2018 and requires Leitrim County Council to carry out septic tank inspections on an annual basis. The risk assessment based methodology developed by the EPA was used to determine the potential risk posed by Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems (DWWTS) country-wide. Areas with DWWTS that pose the highest risk to human health and the environment will be inspected first.
Inspections in County Leitrim will be commencing in the coming weeks in all three municipal district areas.
Householders will be contacted by Leitrim County Council in ADVANCE of an inspection being carried out. If you are NOT contacted by an Authorised Environmental Inspection Officer then no inspection will be carried out on the treatment system on this occasion.
As part of the inspection, treatment systems will be examined to ensure that they are not posing a risk to human health or the environment through leakage or discharges to the surface of the ground or into nearby ditches. Checks will also be carried out to ensure all grey water (wastewater from showers, washing machines, dishwashers etc) is connected to the treatment system. In addition the inspection will check that roof and surface water are diverted away from system.
The property owner may be requested, as part of the inspection process, to engage a contractor with a permit issued under the Waste Management Act, to de-sludge the septic tank / DWWTS. It is an offence to transfer this waste to an unpermitted individual or contractor. A list of permitted contractors is available from the National Waste Collection Permit Office on their web site www.nwcpo.ie Alternatively you can contact Offaly County Council, who operates this service at 057 935 7428, to discuss the availability of approved contractors in your area.
This inspection programme will be of huge benefit to householders, their families and communities as it will address any risk to human health and the environment caused by malfunctioning systems. This will help to ensure that clean and safe water will have a positive impact on the local tourism, agricultural and food producing sectors.
Further information is available from the Environment Section, Leitrim County Council, Áras an Chontae, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim, N41 PF67 or telephone 071 9620005.
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