Government on track to register 80% of septic tanks as deadline closes
The Department of the Environment said it was confident that 80 per cent of septic tank owners would register with the Government as the deadline approached last evening.
Latest figures from the Department of the Environment yesterday showed that more than 70 per cent, or 360,000 people, have registered for the Government charge with about 10,000 registration forms believed to be in the post.
“We are confident that we will achieve in the region of 400,000 allowing for applications that will come through the postal and local authority systems over the weekend,” a department spokesman said yesterday.
Only households that 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 or 91 registrations. 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 the capital 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 of the registrations could apply to properties outside Dublin. Residents of South Dublin County Council and Fingal 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 owners in Limerick City 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 that have not been registered are more likely to be inspected, the department has said. Inspections are due to begin this year with details being finalised by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Fianna Fáil environment spokesman Barry Cowen yesterday asked the Government to extend its deadline until the national inspection plan has been published.
“I am again appealing to Minister Hogan to extend the registration deadline to the 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 for 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.
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 before it increased to €50.
According to the 2011 Census, there are 497,281 septic tanks and other on-site waste-water treatment systems in the State.
Water water... Treatment systems by council area
On-site waste water treatment systems registered as a percentage of total as of Wednesday January 30th
Dublin City 3%
Sth Dublin County 40%
Limerick City 43%
Dún Laoghaire Rathdown44%
Galway City 46%
Cork County 56%
Galway County 58%
Kildare County 59%
Waterford City 62%
Limerick County 63%
South Tipperary 66%
North Tipperary 72%