The choice should be yours

The practice of site assessors recommending a specific make and model has to go, writes Pat Phelan of Biorock.

In NI, specifying onsite wastewater treatment systems is in many ways much more effective than in ROI. Not only is there less paperwork, the process rightly focuses on the certified water quality you are getting at the end of the treatment process.

In ROI, the rules are actually very simple. The onsite wastewater treatment plant must be certified to EN12566-3 and the SR66 standard. The list of certified plants is here.

That is the only requirement of the EPA and building regulations.

However, over the years, the practice has developed for site assessors to recommend a specific make and model in their site assessment reports.

No site assessor, architect or engineer should be allowed to specify one plant over another and then insist that plant must be installed. This should be the householder’s decision, as is the case in NI, the rest of the UK, the EU and beyond.

Every make and model will produce treated water of different standards, but if the plant is certified, it will meet the requirements of the EPA.

There may be occasions when a specific treated water standard is required which is higher than usual, but this is very rare in ROI as there is virtually no means to discharge into nearby water streams.

This could arguably would be the only reason to specify a particular plant over another, but even then it shouldn’t be about the make and model but the standard to which the plant has been certified.

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Written by Pat Phelan

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