Septic tank charges questioned and alert issued on false inspectors

Members of Mayo County Council have questioned costs relating to the imposition of septic tank charges.

At a meeting of the Water Supply and Sewerage SPC on Wednesday last, Noel Burke MCC said registration for septic tanks has now commenced, costing five euro in the next three months or €50 after September, with all liable householders obliged to register by February 2013.

Cllr Rose Conway Walsh asked: “Who is going to pay for the inspectors and where will they come from, within Mayo County Council or the EPA and how much will it cost to roll it out? It was said to be self-financing, but will it be like speeding fines – so many having to be issued in order to bring in the revenue? If the 28,000 tanks register at five euro, that won’t cover the cost of inspectors travelling to rural areas to inspect tanks.”

Senior engineer with MCC, Noel Burke, said the fees are to cover costs for administering the system and inspections. It appeared that local authorities would be involved in the inspection system although the council had not been informed of that formally. Water Ireland will be the authority but the local authorities will be working for it on an agency basis.

Cllr Johnny O Malley stated: “Every septic tank will not be inspected. The most area is where there are houses near to water being used for human consumption and I welcome that because we have to have people drinking clear, clean, water; that is common sense.

“Everybody will be required to register their tanks but inspections will only be in troubled areas. I have come across some and it is outrageous what is happening with them; people thinking they were builders who didn’t even know what the fall of a septic tank was or that it was running up a hill; these are the ones that must be sorted out and I can’t wait for them to be sorted out as they are near some of the land I have.”

Acting director of services, Paul Benson stated: “Carrying out inspections is nothing new to Mayo County Council and they rarely pay for themselves so it does raise a bigger issue around money. There will be no inspections before 2013, so at this point I would like to advise people to be aware of anyone masquerading as a septic tank inspector calling to say they must do inspections on your septic tank. All inspectors will have official ID and householders will receive notice from the council in advance.”


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