Thousands of homes across County Galway are likely to be targeted in the first wave of septic tank inspections from early next year according to Fianna Fáil Galway East TD Michael Kitt.
Dep Kitt understands that more than 16,000 septic tanks at homes and businesses in the western region have been identified as “posing a risk”. This includes 2,890 homes around Clarin/Kilcolgan; 1,090 tanks around the Mask area; and 3,309 tanks near the Clare River.
The Galway East TD said this goes against claims made by Environment Minister Phil Hogan that only 10 per cent of systems nationwide would be inspected. Dep Kitt understands that 165,000 septic tank owners across the State have been identified for inspection and that 35,000 will be inspected next year.
“Galway homeowners are facing bills of thousands of euro to upgrade or replace their septic tanks,” said Dep Kitt. “It is imperative that a system of grant aid is put in place. Rural dwellers cannot be expected to bear the entire cost of upgrades themselves, when urban dwellers are not expected to pay such costs as the State heavily subsidises sewerage schemes.”
Dep Kitt also accused Minister Hogan of “refusing to be honest with septic tank owners” about what the septic tank legislation means for them and what costs they are facing as a result.
“He has been exceptionally light on the detail, and has sought to mislead the public on a number of occasions about what he has announced,” he said. “His refusal to answer the questions and concerns of septic tank owners has created fear and confusion