Monday, 24 September 2012

Fewer than one in seven homes register for septic tank inspections in €5 window

FEWER THAN ONE in seven eligible Irish households have so far registered for mandatory inspection of their septic tanks – just a week before the price for doing so increases tenfold.
Figures supplied show that 58,700 homes had signed up for the inspections, which were made mandatory under laws enacted in February, by the middle of this week.
CSO figures derived from the 2011 census, however, show that there are 437,652 residential septic tanks in the State – meaning a compliance rate of 13.4 per cent, or less than one in seven.
The figures indicate little public appetite to register homes for the inspections, which are required following a European Court of Justice ruling which threatened Ireland with major fines for not enforcing rules on water protection and waste management.
The lowest compliance rate is in the Dublin City Council area, where homes are predominantly serviced by municipal sewerage schemes – but where there are still 1,591 residential properties served by septic tanks.
Of that number, a mere 25 have taken up the option of a €5 payment – with only days to go before the price shoots from €5 to €50 next Friday, ending a three-month promotional discount rate.
Waterford City has the highest payment rate, though that remains a mere 24.4 per cent – with 98 of the 402 eligible homes having registered for inspections. Wicklow is next, where 2,255 of the 10,399 tanks have been registered.
Cork City, Wexford, Kerry, Meath, Clare, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Cavan and Limerick City are the only other councils which have a compliance rate of 15 per cent or higher.
After Dublin City, Donegal has the lowest compliance rate – with only 2,472 of the 30,383 tanks registered by this week, meaning a compliance rate of 8.14 per cent – while South Tipperary was next with 1,246 (or 9.6 per cent) of its 12,973 payments made.
Households still have three months to register and pay the full €50 fee, but the relatively low payment levels in the special discount rate – which was conceived after the furore over the low compliance rate with the Household Charge – indicates that it may be difficult to encourage homes to do so.
Houses can register for the mandatory inspections online at

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