Final day to register septic tanks

A boycott of the E50 septic tank charge is being urged. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

A boycott of the E50 septic tank charge is being urged. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times


The Department of the Environment is confident it will achieve an 80 per cent level of septic tank registrations as the deadline approaches this evening.

Latest figures from the Department of the Environment this morning show that over 70 per cent or 360,000 people have registered for the Government charge with a minimum of 10,000 in the post.

“We are confident that we will achieve in the region of 400k allowing for applications that will come through the postal & local authority systems over the weekend,” a department spokesman said.

Only households who have registered their systems by today will be eligible for financial support if their system fails an inspection.

Co Kerry has the highest level of registration at 91 per cent (of some 28,200 tanks), based on figures up to Wednesday. This is followed by Co Clare and Co Mayo at 79 and 74 per cent respectively.

The Dublin city council area has the lowest registration level at 3 per cent.This figure is not an accurate gauge of the situation, according to the city council. The census figures suggest there are 2,718 septic tanks in Dublin city but people may have mistakenly stated they had a tank, as the city is served by an extensive piped drainage network. Dublin City Council said some some of the 91 registrations could apply to properties outside Dublin.

Residents of South Dublin County Council and Fingal areas have recorded the next lowest levels at between 40 and 43 per cent. As with Dublin City Council, some of these registrations could apply to properties outside Dublin.

Outside the capital, septic tank owner in Limerick have the lowest levels of compliance at 43 per cent (of 420 tanks) followed by Donegal at 50 per cent (of 32,900 tanks).

In December Minister for the environment Phil Hogan announced a grant scheme of up to 80 per cent of repair costs for those earning up to €50,000, up to a maximum of €4,000, and a 50 per cent grant for those earning up to €75,000, up to a maximum of €2,500.

Systems which have not been registered will be at increased risk of inspection., the Department has said.

Inspections are due to begin this year with details being finalised by the Environmental Protection Agency. At the heart of the initiative was the protection of public health and the environment , Gerard O’Leary, director of the Environmental Protection Agency said.

A plea for the Government to extend its deadline until the national inspection plan is published was made by Fianna Fáil environment spokesperson Barry Cowen

“I am again appealing to Minister Hogan to extend the registration deadline to end of April so that the new inspection standards can be published and scrutinised in full,” he said.

A boycott of the charge is being urged by the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes.

Socialist councillor Ruth Coppinger said the grant being given by the government would not cover costs by most people. She urged the State to bring people into the public system or give them a 100 per cent grant. “We should continue the boycott until we get what’s needed….they can’t take 100,000 people to court” she said.

The fee results from a European Court of Justice ruling to regulate the installation and use of septic tanks.

The State was ordered to pay €2 million and a fine of €12,000 per day on December 19th because, the European Commission argued, poorly designed, located or maintained tanks were putting human health at risk due to the danger of pathogens entering drinking water.

A reduced €5 registration fee was available until the end of September but fewer than 40 per cent of septic tank owners availed of the lower rate. The fee is now €50. Registration can be done online at, by post or through local authority offices.

According to the 2011 Census, there are 497,281 septic tanks and other on-site waste-water treatment systems in the State.

On-site waste water treatment systems registered as a percentage of total as of Wednesday January 30th

Dublin City Council 3%
South Dublin County Council 40%
Fingal County Council 43%
Limerick City Council 43%
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council 44%
Galway City Council 46%
Donegal County Council 50%
Louth County Council 51%
Monaghan County Council 55%
Waterford County Council 55%
Cork County Council 56%
Galway County Council 58%
Kildare County Council 59%
Waterford City Council 62%
Limerick County Council 63%
Meath County Council 64%
Wexford County Council 64%
Laois County Council 65%
Offaly County Council 66%
Carlow County Council 66%
South Tipperary County Council 66%
Kilkenny County Council 67%
Longford County Council 67%
Wicklow County Council 70%
Westmeath County Council 70%
Sligo County Council 71%
North Tipperary County Council 72%
Cork City Council 72%
Roscommon County Council 73%
Leitrim County Council 73%
Cavan County Council 73%
Mayo County Council 74%
Clare County Council 79%
Kerry County Council 91%

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