Low septic tank registrations in Kildare

Only 15 percent of householders in Kildare have registered their septic tank to protect drinking water sources ahead of next Friday’s deadline, after which a €50 charge will be applied to all late registrations.

Only 15 percent of householders in Kildare have registered their septic tank to protect drinking water sources ahead of next Friday’s deadline, after which a €50 charge will be applied to all late registrations.

A total of 2,048 of householders out of a of 13,348 households listed with individual septic tanks have registered to date. From next Friday the registration fee increases to €50 from a reduced €5. All tanks must be registered by February 1 or homeowners face the prospect of fines up to €50,000.

The figures provided by the CSO list 51,243 households in Kildare on the Public Scheme while 3,000 are listed under Other Individual Treatment and 52 are listed as having no sewerage facility.

A total of 2,464 households have registered with neighbouring Wicklow County Council and there are reportedly “additional registrations on hand at the central bureau or in Kildare County Council which are yet to be entered on the registration system”.

Kildare County Council will have to begin carrying out inspections from next summer. The Council is now urging all homeowners with septic tanks that have not registered to do so.

“I want to take the opportunity to remind people they can only avail of the reduced registration fee of €5 until the 28 September 2012, after that date it will cost €50,” said Kildare County Manager, Michael Malone. “I would also like to thank all of those people who have paid so far.”

Owners need to renew their registration every five years, at no cost.

Last week the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan T.D. said “there are two main reasons
for the implementation of the registration and inspection regime for septic tanks.

“The key objective is to enhance and protect public health and the environment which will, in turn, benefit rural dwellers in terms of a better quality of life and better quality water. Clean water is vital for attracting inward investment and to support water hungry sectors such as pharmaceuticals and ICT.”

The second reason for the legislation, Minister Hogan said ”is to ensure compliance with the European Court of Justice ruling against Ireland in October 2009 in relation to the treatment of waste waters from septic tanks and other on-site wastewater treatment systems, which the last Government failed to address”.

The State may now face fines up to to €3.9m by the court next month for failing to comply with the 2009 judgement to protect drinking water sources.

- Paula Campbell