Septic tank grants rolled out to high risk areas

More people in ROI will qualify for a €5,000 grant to repair their septic tank, the Enviornment Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Tuesday 21st July 2020.

The grant is now available in areas that are aiming to improve water quality under the national River Basin Management Plan.

The move had been announced in 2018 and was due to be rolled out last year.

“The Government’s expanded septic tank grant scheme broadens the availability of grants and increases the maximum grant available which is welcomed,” said Dr. Tom Ryan, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement.

Grants have been available to fix domestic wastewater treatment systems but only if they failed inspection. Yet there is no way to request an inspection.

Now the grant is also availble to anyone in High Status Objective Catchment Areas identified in the River Basin Management Plan.

The grant is now also available if the system has been identified by local authorities to be in Priority Areas for Action (areas where action to address water quality is being focussed under the River Basin Management Plan).

The grant amount is now €5,000. To apply and to get more information consult the Department of Housing website.

The EPA report on 1,160 local authority inspections of septic tanks and other domestic waste water treatment systems found that more than half of the systems failed inspection in 2019, in large part due to lack of maintenance and desludging.

Nearly 300 systems still pose a risk to human health or the environment, while 27 per cent of systems that failed inspections in 2013-2019 were still not fixed in 2019.

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Written by Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of SelfBuild & Improve Your Home magazine. She previously held the same role in an Irish trade publication, before that she worked at the National Standards Authority of Ireland. She graduated with a BA in Urban Studies from Columbia University in New York and holds an MBA from the Instituto de Estudios Bursatiles in Madrid. France of origin, she now lives in Portarlington, County Laois, where she's taken on the task of renovating a listed building! Email astrid.madsen@selfbuild.ie

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