Murnane O’Connor brings important Bill for thousands of septic tank owners before Oireachtas

Published on: 25 March 2022

Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow Jennifer Murnane O’Connor has brought a Bill before the Oireachtas which could help thousands of householders excluded from support for the maintenance and repair of their septic tanks.


Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Murnane O’Connor stated, “This is an important bill for the thousands of householders excluded from support for the maintenance and repair of their septic tanks because they did not register their septic tanks by a prescribed date.


“A registration and inspection regime was introduced in 2012 for domestic waste water treatment systems, such as septic tanks. A homeowner with a septic tank or similar system, must have registered its details with their local authority and paid a registration fee by 1 February 2013.


“Anyone who registered after the deadline, are now discovering they are not eligible for any grant if the system is found to need remedial work.”


The Carlow TD continued: “I had one man come to me recently saying he was facing such an enormous bill for the upgrade of his tank he had to sell his car.


“Homeowners who need to upgrade their septic tank are no longer means tested in ‘high status water bodies’ areas, and there is no grace to those who may have inadvertently missed the registration deadline to allow them to apply for the grant means tested or otherwise.


“The current grant levels cover 50 to 80 per cent (income level of up to €50k) of the cost of repairing, upgrading or replacing a septic tank that failed a local authority inspection.


“Local authorities inspect septic tanks and every year roughly half inspected fail according to figures from the EPA.”


Deputy Murnane O’Connor added: “In addition to agriculture, poorly functioning septic tanks have been found to be a main pressure on water quality. In 40 areas they were considered to be the only cause of water pollution, so this is not just a one-house one problem, it can impact the community.”