The new levy to be introduced on septic tanks for rural homes will cost people much more than the €200 originally stated and add up to thousands of euro per household instead, according to Mayo politicians this week.
Describing the publication of the Septic Tank Bill as having been done ‘under the radar ‘ this week, Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo, Dara Calleary, said the bill is riddled with hidden charges that could result in bills of thousands of euro for septic tank owners in the form of registration fees, multiple inspection fees, and costly upgrade works.
“Minister Hogan was clearly hoping that no-one would notice that such a controversial piece of legislation has been published, as he made absolutely no announcement and issued no press release to inform the public,” Deputy Calleary said.
“This Bill is even worse than we expected. Septic tank owners will have to pay €50 registration fee, which appears to be recurring as registration will be required every five years. They could also face multiple inspection fees and will be liable for the full cost of any upgrade works required. Only the first inspection is free - if a homeowner wishes to appeal that inspection, they will have to pay €200 for a second inspection. If the inspector says the septic tank must be upgraded, the homeowner will have to pay for the upgrade works which could cost thousands of euro, and it seems they will also have to pay a further €200 to have their tank inspected again after works are completed.
“Fianna Fáil will oppose this piece of legislation at every turn,” he added. “It is a blatant attack on rural Ireland and the 400,000 homes dependent on septic tanks. People living in cities and towns have access to heavily subsidised sewerage systems and do not have to pay a cent for maintenance or upgrade works. I am calling on Minister Hogan to stand up and explain his decision to rural householders and to answer the many questions and concerns they have about the extra multiple bills they are facing next year.”
According to Mayo county councillor Micheal McNamara, the bill published by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan will impose multiple fees on more than 400,000 septic tank owners across the country.
“This legislation will affect rural dwellers and will particularly affect dwellers that do not benefit from local authority sewerage schemes,” Cllr McNamara warned.
“I am totally opposed to this bill as I can see that it will impose a multitude of charges on rural dwellers. The registration fee of €50 will be recurring every five years. Only the first inspection fee is free and inspections after this will incur a charge of €200. An appeal to an inspector’s decision will cost a further €200. If planning is required for any work associated with a septic tank an additional charge will be incurred. The full cost of the upgrading or replacement will be borne by the homeowner. Once the work is completed a further inspection will be required, with another charge of €200.
“I have had more calls on this issue over the last few days than one could imagine. People are very annoyed and feel that these charges are a step too far. I have contacted Minster Hogan and have outlined to him the anger rural people are rightly expressing about these septic tank charges,” Cllr McNamara concluded.