Government faces repeat of household charge fiasco
By Nevan Riley
Only 16 per cent of Wicklow homeowners have registered their septic tanks despite an approaching deadline. Nationally, the figure is lower than 10 per cent, with just 47,000 homeowners registering their system and 420,000 failing to do so.
Homeowners have until this Friday to register their system and avail of a reduced fee of €5. After that, the registration fee increases to €50 and if the system is not registered by February 1, a fine of up to €5000 may be charged.
Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle has appealed to Wicklow residents to register their septic tank and has urged people to do so before Friday's deadline.
“The Government is implementing a registration and inspection regime for septic tanks for two simple reasons; to protect our water supplies and to comply with our European obligations.
Enhancing and protecting public health and the environment by ensuring we have excellent water quality will be of benefit to people living right across Wicklow & East Carlow.
“By having a proper inspection regime in place, we are not just improving water standards and security for householders, we are also sending an important message to local businesses and investors. The tourism, recreation, agricultural and food-producing sectors all rely on a clean water supply. Furthermore, a reliable and high quality supply is very important when trying to attract high growth sectors such as pharmaceuticals and ICT.”
The decision to inspect septic tanks follows a 2009 decision from the European Court of Justice who ruled that Ireland was not doing enough to protect drinking water sources. Should Ireland fail to implement a suitable inspection regime, the state could face heavy fines from Europe for non-compliance.
Registration can be completed online at www.protectourwater.ie by credit or debit card, by post, or at local authority offices.