Dinny McGinley, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht Affairs today welcomed the announcement by the Minster for the Environment, Phil Hogan TD, that a grant scheme is being established to provide financial assistance to householders who need to upgrade their septic tanks or waste water treatment systems.
Minister McGinley said: “Septic tank inspections are due to get underway in the New Year, and this announcement that grants are to be made available for remedial works will provide extra reassurance to householders. The reality is that the vast majority of septic tanks will pass inspections. But for the minority of those that do require remedial works, this grant will be of great assistance.
“Grants of up to €4,000 will be made available to householders who need to upgrade their treatment systems. This will go a considerable way to ensuring that the remedial works will not place undue financial pressure on the householders involved. Domestic tanks and other waste water systems should be registered by February 1st next; and it is important to add that only householders who register their systems will be eligible for a grant.
“The majority of septic tanks are working well, but those that aren’t pose a threat to our drinking water supplies. Ensuring we have effective waste water treatment systems is essential for the environment and for our economy. Protecting groundwater is not only important for local communities; having a reliable water supply is crucial when trying to attract high value industries such as pharmaceuticals and ICT.
“Minister Hogan gave a commitment last year to introduce a grant scheme for septic tank owners. Today’s announcement will be of particular benefit to lower income families. Households with an income of less than €50,000 will be able to apply for up to 80% of the cost of remedial works.
“People living in rural areas fully understand the importance of protecting our water supplies. This new inspection regime will not only enhance our water supplies, it will have a positive effect on the tourism, recreation, agricultural and food-producing sectors, all of which rely on clean water.
“If you have not yet registered your septic tank, you can go to www.ProtectOurWater.ie. More than 290,000 have already registered their systems, and I would encourage any householders in Donegal who have not done so, to register their tank without delay.”