The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (DoECLG) has published the Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012 to regulate wastewater discharges from all homes that are not connected to the public sewer network.
This is as a result of a European Court of Justice (ECJ) judgment made against Ireland in 2009 (Case C-188/08) in relation to the management of domestic wastewater treatment systems.
This ruling has implications for some 440,000 wastewater treatment systems serving single houses in Ireland. The Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012 includes registration and inspection arrangements. This means that all on-site septic tank systems or domestic wastewater treatment systems will have to be registered.
The Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) has developed a central on-line registration system and will manage the system on a shared-service basis for the Water Services Authorities.
To register please follow the link http://www.protectourwater.ie or contact your local authority office.
Closing date for registration is 1st February 2013.
The EPA will be responsible for the development of a national inspection plan. The EPA will use a risk-based approach to prioritise areas of higher risk to human health and water quality.
This approach will assign resources to where they are needed and deliver the best outcome for public health and the environment cost effectively. More details on the proposed national inspection plan will be made available as soon as it is developed.
The EPA will have a supervisory role in relation to each local authority's performance of its functions. It also will establish and maintain a register of inspectors.
DoECLG have more information about the Act on their website. We have also produced a list of Frequently Asked Questions on the latest information available on the Act.
See www.protectourwater.ie for more information on the registration process.
There are a number of things you can do to ensure that your septic tank or domestic wastewater treatment system is working properly.
See also some existing guidance on domestic waste water systems for single houses.
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