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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Frequently Asked Questions
A Septic Tank is a domestic scale version of a sewage treatment plant. The treated effluent drains from the tank’s outlet pipe to a suitable size percolation area to a soak away naturally into the ground. During the treatment process waste material settles in the tank and is digested by natural bacteria. Over time partially-decomposed solids build up on the bottom of the tank. This sludge needs to be removed regularly to make sure the tank continues to function properly and to prevent the soak away becoming blocked. Click on the questions below for more information.
In December 2012, The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr. Phil Hogan, T.D., has announced a grant scheme to provide financial assistance to households whose Septic Tanks and other domestic waste water treatment systems, require upgrading following inspection under the Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012.
More details on how to apply for a grant for an upgrade to your septic tank or waste water treatment system can be found here: www.protectourwater.ie
The EPA’s National Inspection Plan covers all areas of the country and priority is currently given to areas where drinking water sources are most at risk from pollution by on-site waste water treatment systems or Septic Tank discharges.
You will be formally notified by your local water services authority if your domestic wastewater treatment system is to be inspected. Inspectors will be required to carry identification and you should ask for this to be presented to you.
The Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012 requires local authorities to maintain a register of domestic waste water treatment systems in their local areas.
Under the Act, owners of domestic waste water treatment systems must ensure that their systems are registered. The purpose of this amendment is to protect ground and surface water quality (particularly drinking water sources) from the risks posed by poorly functioning systems.
Inspections of domestic systems have been in operation since the 1st February 2013.
The EPA is responsible for the implementation of the national inspection plan & they use a risk-based approach to prioritise areas of higher risk to human health and water quality.
This depends on the age and condition of your current system. If your septic tank is structurally sound and the percolation area is fit for purpose then an upgrade may not necessarily be required. SepCare will complete an obligation free visual assessment to evaluate the condition of you existing system and advise the best course of action to meet your budget and requirements.
- Blockages in manholes
- Slowly draining toilets
- Insect Infestation
- Wet patches in the garden even in dry weather
- Patches of green grass around the septic tank
- Inspection and assessment of your septic tank or waste water treatment system
- Empty your septic tank or waste water treatment system
- Disposal of the removed sludge and materials to a licensed treatment facility
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