As you will be aware from previous advertiser articles the Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012 was enacted last year regulating the registration of all septic tanks in this country.  The purpose of the Act is to ensure that waste water from septic tanks  and other individual waste water treatment systems is disposed of without harming the environment or human health.

Date for registration

Under the Act anyone who owns a septic tank or a waste water treatment system needs to register with their Local Authority before the 1st of February 2013.  An online registration system is available through Kerry County Council’s website and is accessible at www.protectourwater.ie You may also register in person by attending one of the offices of Kerry County Council as listed on its website.  It is also possible to register by post but to do so you will need to complete the relevant form which is available from Kerry County Council.  Once registered a Certificate of Registration will be issued by the Local Authority valid for five years. It will  be necessary to re-register every five years –   although it is not clear if a registration fee will arise at this stage.  It is important to note that the register will be available for public inspection and failure to register will be an offence. The certificate of registration must be produced in the event of the sale of the property.

Fee

The fee for registration is now €50.00 and the deadline for registration is the 1st February 2013.  The  well-publicised  introductory fee for those owners of septic tanks who registered their septic tank by the 30th June 2012 is no longer available.

Inspections

It is expected that the inspections will commence in 2013   and the focus will be on septic tank systems that are believed to pose a risk to water sources.  Where remedial works are required the local authority will issue an advisory notice to the owner.  It is the responsibility of the owner to carry out the remedial works.  However the owner may request a re – inspection from the local authority on payment of a re-inspection fee   and there is also a right of recourse to the District Court for a homeowner if they are aggrieved   by the decision   of the local authority.  Different time limits apply for each stage and specific advice will be required in each individual scenario.

Grants

It has been announced by Minister Phil Hogan that grants will be available to those who must undertake works/repairs to their septic tanks.  The following are the details.

Household Income

Household Income % Costs available Maximum Grant
Up to €50,000 80% €4,000
€50,001 – €75,000 50% €2,500

 

 

Fines

It has been indicated in the national media that households that do not register their septic tank are more likely to face inspections from their local authority especially if there is water pollution in the area.  Those who do not register their septic tanks prior to the deadline of the 1st February 2013 face a fine of up to €5,000.00 and in addition will not be entitled to apply for the grants that are available for any remedial works that are required arising from an inspection.

The deadline is fast looming and every one should be mindful of the consequences if they do not register.