Councillor seeks grants for septic tanks

Amidst confusion on the introduction of a Government Bill setting out standards for domestic septic tanks, one local councillor is appealing for financial assistance for those who are required to upgrade their septic tanks.

Cllr Frankie Keena raised the issue at Monday’s county council meeting, asking that the Government publish the regulations for privately-owned septic tanks, and also that it introduce a grants system to assist those who have to carry out upgrade works to bring their tanks into line with the new regulations.

“There is a lot of concern among people who own septic tanks. I am disappointed that the Bill was passed last week, it is a major hit on people living in rural Ireland. Under the Bill, inspectors can come onto people’s property and dig to check the percolations, which could hugely discommode a household.

“We need a good clear commitment from the Minister that grants will be introduced for those who have to upgrade their tanks.

“The householder should not be liable for the cost of inspections or upgrades. I would request that the Minister retrospectively introduce a grants system, and also publish the regulations,” he concluded.

Cllr Paddy Hill lent his support, saying the problem with the Bill is “the fear of the unknown”.

“The Bill is not specific as to what should be done. People don’t know if extra land will be required. Will they have to pay the contractor who comes to empty the tank, which has to be done every two years? It needs to be made clear,” he said.

Cllr Keena was pleasantly surprised to also earn support from his Fine Gael colleagues.

“I couldn’t disagree with the motion but it’s unlikely to come to pass,” said Cllr Fintan Cooney.

“That is quite reasonable, I think your proposal will receive a favourable response. It is not highly onerous legislation; people will have three years in which to do the work,” added Cllr Colm Arthur.

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