Don’t be blaming the septic tanks, says Harkin

The most recent inspections of septic tanks by the Environmental Protection Agency had revealed that their threat to the country’s drinking water had been substantially exaggerated and paled in significance with the damage being caused by 38 of Ireland’s largest sewage discharge systems that failed to meet treatment standard.

This was stated by independent MEP Marian Harkin when she welcomed the fact that 52% of the septic tanks considered to be a threat to the environment had passed inspection.

“What this means is that, considering that the septic tank inspections are focussed on those identified to be those most likely to fail, the pass rate is encouraging but not surprising”, she said.

“These results, having regard to the EPA statement which indicated that many of the failures could be prevented by elementary actions such as de-sludging, revealed that the attempt to associate deficient septic tanks with the quality status of waters had been exaggerated, the Independent MEP said.

“This result, when taken in conjunction with the recent revelation by the EPA that 38 municipal sites including Dublin and Cork are not up to the standard required and that discharge of raw and inadequately treated sewage are damaging both drinking and sea waters, requires an immediate and effective investment programme to rectify this totally unacceptable situation”, Independent MEP Marian Harkin concluded.

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