There is “no excuse” for people not to register for their septic tank inspection, according to Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan.
Mr Hogan made his declaration after last night revealing that the registration fee for septic tank inspections would be reduced to €5 for the first three months, to incentivise people to sign up early ahead of inspections next year. After the first three months, registration will cost €50.
The Minister also said he does not expect there to be a widespread problem of tanks failing inspections.
He admitted, however, that he would look at some kind of assistance for householders if the cost of cleaning up a tank was too steep.
There are over 400,000 septic tanks in Ireland, which are now required to be inspected to ensure they comply with European standards following a ruling from the European Court of Justice in 2009, which will impose fines on Ireland unless it complies.
Some opposition TDs hit out at the ruling, claiming it unfairly targeted rural Ireland, however Minister Hogan admitted on Newstalk’s breakfast programme this morning that he had no choice but to implement the inspections.
He said: “I’m obliged to implement this particular court ruling. I’m doing so in the most benign way possible.
He said that if work was required on the tank after an inspection is carried out then it would cost around €100 to carry out measures such as desludging.
“That’s not an onerous financial burden on anybody to ensure that we have good water quality,” he said.
Minister Hogan also revealed that around 78,000 households had now registered to pay the household charge of €100.