Friday, September 10, 2010

Septic tanks and on-site treatment systems to be monitored and inspected

The European Court of Justice ruling in October 2009 in relation to Irish on-site wastewater treatment systems, which of course includes the much maligned septic tank, will require new legislation in order to achieve the level of compliance required by the EU. Currently this is being prepared by the various State Agencies. What this will mean to the average householder with an on-site system is yet to be seen. However, it appears inevitable that the legislation will include prescribed standards covering both the operation and performance of systems. For these to be enforced then licensing, monitoring and inspection of systems will be required. What this will mean is that householders will have to become much more hands-on with their systems or pay someone else to look after them. Where systems fail standards then remedial action will be necessary.

Personally I am worried that this will lead to much hardship for many rural people and even in extreme cases the possibility of people unable to continue to live in their homes. Currently it costs about €5,000 to install a simple septic tank percolation area and approximately €18,000 for a sophisticated on-site treatment and percolation system. On top of this is the annual desludging costs of between €180-275. There are also possible maintenance or service charges for on-site treatment plants which range between €250 to €500 and which usually excludes the cost of replacement parts. To include a possible annual licence fee for on-site systems and then an equivalent monitoring and inspection system to the National Car Testing scheme with possible costly remediation or up grading work after inspection will create enormous hardship for many. I often wonder if there is an urban-rural divide in Ireland, in terms of water and wastewater provision there certainly appears to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment