National Inspection Plan 2018-2021

The Environmental Protection Agency has published the National Inspection Plan 2018 – 2021: Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems

The EPA prepared the first national inspection plan for DWWTS in 2013 for the period 2013 to 2014.  As part of this plan the EPA developed a risk based methodology to assist local authorities with the selection of sites for inspections.  The plan specifies the minimum number of inspections across the country for each local authority area. Since the national inspection plan was first developed in 2013 it has been based on a two-strand approach of engagement strategies linked with a risk based inspection process.

The second national inspection plan for DWWTS in 2015 outlined the inspection process for the period 2015 to 2017.  Some minor changes were made to the risk maps used for site selection as additional environmental data had become available. 

The National Inspection Plan 2015 – 2017 has been replaced by the 2018 – 2021 Plan.  This third plan has taken into account the additional information gathered on water quality during the preparation of the River Basin Management Plan 2018 – 2021.  The risk based methodology has been updated to focus inspections using a combination of Water Framework Directive surface water and groundwater risk assessments.

The updated methodology will target inspections in water bodies where there is the greatest potential for contributing to water quality improvements.  There will be a further focus within the water bodies where there is the greatest potential for the protection of human health by undertaking a higher number of inspections in areas with increased potential risk to groundwater supplies from DWWTS.

A separate report outlining the main issues detailed in the submissions received during the consultation period and the EPA response is available here.