Mandatory Septic tank upgrades could cost householders thousands

Over half  of septic tanks have failed first inspection 


Speaking from Seanad Eireann today, Midlands-North-West, European election candidate Ronan Mullen said:


“One of the many issues affecting rural Ireland is the unfairness of the current local authority septic tank inspection regime which is being managed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).”


Referring to the report issued by the EPA last week which showed that over half of septic tanks in across the country have failed the test in the first year of inspections and home-owners could be liable for costly upgrades, Senator Mullen said:


“Of course any efforts to improve water quality and environmental health is welcome. However, those who fail their inspection will now have to undertake a mandatory upgrade of their septic tank  which could cost  householders thousands . At the height of the property boom, local authorities were only too delighted to give planning permissions for one- off houses in rural Ireland so that they could profit from development charges. The same local authorities knew that most one-off rural houses never had any prospect whatsoever of being connected to a mains sewer.  Up to the end of June last year, approximately 446,000 septic tank registrations had been submitted to Minister Phil Hogan’s Department and at €50 per registration, Minister Hogan managed to net €22.3 million from ordinary, hard- working tax-payers. Surely this registration cost should go towards mandatory upgrades?”


He continued:


“Inspections are now under way in most counties in Ireland, and householders I am meeting throughout the country are genuinely concerned that this new inspection regime will mean that they will have to incur additional costs to upgrade their septic tanks, notwithstanding that they built their houses in full compliance with planning and building regulations.”


He also referred to the many householders who unfortunately missed the 1st February, 2013 registration deadline and will not be able to avail of means-tested grants as a result and said:


“This is a double blow for home-owners, many of whom are in negative equity and simply cannot cope with the imposition of any further stealth taxes and charges on their family homes. I am calling on Minister Hogan to offer an amnesty to those who registered after the deadline so that they are not denied the opportunity to avail of any grants that are available. Otherwise the Minister will be placing a further debt burden on people who are already struggling to keep their family homes.”