Septic Tank Guidelines Will Protect Our Water, Our Environment and Our Jobs

Posted by on Jun 28, 2012 in news | 0 comments

Phil Hogan T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government today (26th June)  announced the  details of the performance standards for septic tanks at the Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Community and Local Government. Homeowners who have a septic tank or waste-water treatment system need to register their system by 1st February 2013.   The registration fee is €5 until 28th September 2012 increasing to €50 after that date.   The risk-based system of inspections will commence in 2013 and will be objective and evidence-based, i.e. unless there is evidence of endangerment of human health or the environment, the system in place should pass inspection.

Speaking at the Oireachtas Committee today Minister Hogan said: ‘There are two main reasons for the implementation of the registration and inspection regime for septic tanks. First and foremost the key objective is to enhance and protect public health and the environment which will, in turn, benefit rural dwellers in terms of a better quality of life and better quality water. Protecting our environment will also have positive economic benefits for the tourism, recreation, agricultural and food-producing sectors, all of which rely on clean water. Clean water is vital for attracting inward investment and to support water hungry sectors such as pharmaceuticals and ICT.’

“The second reason for the legislation is to ensure compliance with the European Court of Justice ruling against Ireland in October 2009 in relation to the treatment of waste waters from septic tanks and other on-site wastewater treatment systems, which the last Government failed to address.”

“I have ensured that this legislation has been deliberately framed to minimise the impact on householders. It is very simple, owners of septic tanks and on-site treatment systems must ensure that their systems do not cause a risk to human health or the environment. If a system is defective it is the owners, their families and their neighbours who will be at most immediate risk.”

The Regulations – Owners of domestic waste-water treatments systems need to:
1.    Know where their  septic tank is located;
2.    Operate and maintain the system so it is fit for purpose and fully operational;
3.    The system can not pollute the environment by discharging/leaking waste anywhere it is not suppose to ie. Into the ground or any water source ;
4.    Roof water or surface water run-off can not enter a domestic waste water treatment system;
5.    The system should be de-sludged at intervals appropriate to the tank capacity and the number of persons resident in the premises connected to it or as recommended by the system’s manufacturer.

There are three ways people can register their system:
1.    Online at  www.protectourwater.ie
2.    By Post: Forms can be got in City/County Councils, libraries and Citizens Information Centres or by calling LoCall1890-800 800 for information. Cheques made Payable: ‘Protect Our Water’ and post to: Protect our Water, PO Box 12204, Dublin 7.  

3.    Local Authority Office ( there is no administration fee)
Ends.

STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS

WATER SERVICES ACTS 2007 AND 2012 (DOMESTIC WASTE WATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS ) REGULATIONS 2012

I, Phil Hogan, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 18 of the Water Services Act 2007 (No. 30 of 2007) and section 70L (1) of the Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012 (No. 2 of 2012), hereby make the following Regulations:

    
1.
Citation
(a)    These Regulations may be cited as the Water Services Acts 2007 and 2012 (Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems) Regulations 2012.
(b)    These Regulations come into operation on 26.6.2012

2.Operation and maintenance of domestic waste water treatment systems

(1) A domestic waste water treatment system shall be operated and maintained by its owner so that domestic waste water or sewage effluent shall not emit, discharge, seep, leak or otherwise escape from the system, or part thereof :

(a) other than from a place or part of the system where the system is designed or intended to discharge domestic waste water or sewage effluent, or  

(b) into surface waters except where licensed under Section 4 of the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977, or  
 
(c) onto the surface of the ground.

(2) Roof water or surface water run-off shall not enter a domestic waste water treatment system.

(3) The owner of a domestic waste water treatment system shall be responsible for its maintenance and renewal and shall ensure that its parts and components are fit for purpose, operational where appropriate and kept in good order and repair so as to prevent a risk to human health or the environment.

3.
De-sludging
(1) A domestic waste water treatment system shall be de-sludged at intervals appropriate to the tank capacity and the number of persons resident in the premises connected to it, and such intervals shall be :
(a)    at least once in every three years, or  
(b)    when sludge and scum accumulations exceed 30% of the tank volume or are encroaching on the inlet and outlet baffle entrances, or  
(c)    as recommended by the system’s manufacturer.

(2) De-sludging shall be carried out by a contractor authorised under the Waste Management (Collection Permit) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 820 of 2007) as amended by the Waste Management (Collection Permit) (Amendment) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 87 of 2008) and contents disposed of in accordance with all relevant national legislative requirements or directions pertaining at the time.
(3) An owner shall obtain evidence of de-sludging or a receipt from the authorised contractor each time their tank is de-sludged and such evidence or receipt shall be retained for a period of five years.

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (2) and (3), the owner of a domestic waste water treatment system may carry out de-sludging of that system and use its contents in agriculture, subject to compliance with all relevant national legislative requirements or directions pertaining at the time and in particular with the provisions of the Waste Management (Use of Sewage Sludge in Agriculture) Regulations 1998 (S.I. No 148 of 1998, the Waste Management (Use of Sewage Sludge in Agriculture) (Amendment) Regulations 2001 (S.I. No 267 of 2001) and the European Communities (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 610 of 2010). 
 

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