Septic tank reports denied

Donegal County Council says no areas in the county have been identified for septic tank inspections

Donegal County Council says no areas in the county have been identified for septic tank inspections

despite reports that more than 3,000 homes and businesses are to be targeted in the first round of inspections.

Reports last month suggested that parts of the county will be targeted in the first raft of inspections because septic tanks there pose the greatest risk of contamination to water supply.

But the reports have been dismissed by the Department of Environment which says they are based on figures that include Northern Ireland.

The department says it will target inspections towards drinking water sources or habitats that are at risk from septic tank discharges.

The reports claimed 2,184 tanks at the southern end of Lough Swilly will be inspected in the first raft of inspections along with another 1,082 in the Crana catchment, which is bordered by Drumfries, Buncrana and the Fullerton Pollen Dam where 1,082 tanks will be inspected

The registration scheme is due to begin later this year when homeowners and businesses will have to register their septic tank with their local authority at a cost of €5 during the first three months rising to €50.

In a written response following a question by Dessie Larkin the council said no areas of the county have been identified for sceptic tank inspection. The council said “it is generally considered that the impact of sceptic tank discharges on habitats and drinking water sources is minimal in Co. Donegal”.

Cllr. Larkin said the reports of what areas had been identified had the effect of scare-mongering.

“Anyone looking at those reports would think that Donegal is going to be targeted in high numbers. It looks like Donegal will not be a priority as regards the inspections of theses tanks. There are fears that people could be facing costs of up to 30,000 if their tank is not compliment. The standards have not been published yet and a lot of it will depend on what the standards are. The first inspections will not occur until 2013 and it looks like Donegal will not be targeted. People are fearful of what this is going to mean for them and it is being seen as another attack on rural Ireland.”