Few avail of €5 offer to register septic tanks


WITH LESS than a month to go before a 10-fold rise in the registration fee, only about 30,000 people have so far registered their septic tanks under the Government scheme – far below the almost 500,000 septic tanks and other waste-water treatment systems in the State.

The charge for the mandatory registration, part of a scheme introduced by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan on June 26th, goes up from €5 to €50 on September 28th.

Registration is required before February 1st, 2013.

There are 497,281 septic tanks and other on-site waste-water treatment systems in the State, according to last year’s census.

The controversial registration plan has been criticised by some rural dwellers, who claim it discriminates against them and will force them to spend thousands of euro upgrading their tanks, while city dwellers face no such charges.

The Government originally planned a flat €50 fee, but following an outcry, it announced in February that the charge would be €5 for the first three months.

A department spokesman said 22,500 applications for registration had been received online by last Friday. This figure does not include recent applications received across the counter at council offices, which are estimated to number 6,500.

On Friday Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesman Éamon Ó Cuív urged people not to register until they had more information.

“People shouldn’t register until the Minister outlines what he is going to do in relation to grant-aiding people who have to make mandatory upgrades,” he said.

He said a European Court ruling due in October would bring further clarity and he called on the Minister not to raise the registration fee until after the outcome of that ruling was known.

The department spokesman said newspaper adverts and a local radio campaign informing people of their obligations would be run in mid-September.