First failures in septic tank checks

Limerick County Council has carried out its first series of septic tank inspections and a 100 per cent failure rate has been reported.

The inspections were carried out as part of the government’s National Inspection Plan for Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems. The aim of the plan is to have systems working effectively and to eliminate the risks posed to health and the environment.

The inspections in Limerick were the first to have been carried out in the country. Six tanks in total were inspected in the county and each of them failed.

Speaking to AgriLand, Anne Goggin, senior executive engineer with Limerick County Council, said the reasons for the failures were varied, from minor issues such as no manhole covers to more serious concerns such as waste coming into direct contact with surface waters.

The households involved were notified immediately after the failures, they are then given a deadline to rectify the problem.

“The deadline depends on the nature of the failure; it can be anything from one to 12 months,” Goggin said. Households can avail of the Septic Tank Grant Scheme to carry out the repairs; all information on how to apply for the grant will be supplied after a failed inspection.

Goggin explained that the rate of these failures may not be replicated throughout the county. “We have only carried out six, so it is hard to draw conclusions from that. This was a high-risk area, you tend to find that problems are clustered and a lot of these houses were built around the same time.” She concluded: “I think the rate will improve.”

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