Question Nos. 532 and 581

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the date on which legislation is likely to be introduced which will set performance standards for existing septic tanks and other on-site waste water treatment systems and the introduction of an inspection and monitoring system for such systems.

– Anthony Lawlor.

For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 14th September, 2011.

Ref Nos: 22827/11 and 23616/11


Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Mr. P. Hogan)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 532 and 581 together.

On 29 October 2009, the European Court of Justice ruled against Ireland in relation to the treatment of wastewaters from septic tanks and other on-site wastewater treatment systems. The Court found that by failing to adopt the necessary legislation to comply with Articles 4 and 8 of the 1975 EU Waste Directive as regards domestic waste waters disposed of in the countryside through septic tanks and other individual waste water treatment systems, Ireland had failed to fulfil its obligations under that directive. My Department, together with the Office of the Attorney General, is finalising the preparation of a Bill to establish a system of inspection of septic tanks and other on-site systems. I expect to bring the Bill to Government in the coming weeks seeking approval for its publication. Full details on how the inspection system will operate will be announced at that time.