Thursday, September 6, 2012

September edition of Science Spin now available

The latest edition of Science Spin, Ireland’s own science magazine edited by Tom Kennedy doesn’t have anything specific on water this issue but is well worth a look anyhow.  There is a very interesting article by Tom looking at the levels of metal contamination in Dublin soils, with As, Pb and Hg all showing surprising high concentrations in the topsoil.  This is quite surpsing given the relatively low level of industrialization. The digital version is available via this link.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Septic tank charges and community advisory groups

A letter dropped through my letter box yesterday from Wicklow Council inviting me to register my household wastewater treatment system (if I have one) before February 1st, 2013. By last Friday only 2,500 households had registered their septic tanks. This is a huge disappointment to the Irish Government who had hoped that their €5 early registration fee incentive for early, set to end on the 28th of this month when the normal fee of €50 euro will come into force, would see the majority of systems registered. According to the CSO there are 497,281 septic tanks and household treatment units in the country, but this is probably a huge underestimation when holiday homes and more isolated dwellings are taken into account. Rural people are very concerned that the follow up inspections will force them into huge investments, with the added worry of unscrupulous individuals selling unnecessary upgrades and package systems to the unsuspecting owners, especially elderly who are most vulnerable in rural areas. My advice is to get registered now at the reduced rate and save yourself €45 as it is inevitable that all tanks will eventually be traced through ESB connections etc. The best approach to the inspections is to form community advisory groups to follow up on inspection reports and to help locals get the best advice and price on upgrades where necessary