Just 38 percent of Mayo households availed of the time-limited concessionary €5 fee for registering septic tanks. With Mayo containing around 26,640 tanks, the County Council plans to ramp up the campaign to get householders to register.
The deadline to avail of the reduced controversial septic-tank register charge passed on Friday last, September 28. Mayo County Council has since revealed that 62 percent of eligible households have yet to register their tanks. These households have until February 1, 2013 to register their tank, but they must now pay an increased fee of €50.
John Condon, County Secretary of Mayo County Council told The Mayo News that he believed the 38 percent figure was in line with other parts of the country. However, he admitted that the campaign for households to register their tank will have to be increased.
“The €5 option is gone. Households have between now and the end of January to comply. There will be more publicity on it between now and then,” he explained. “We would prefer if there was a 100 percent [registration rate], but this is a new idea and it will take a while for people to get used to it.”
The registration charge is part of the Water Services (Amendment) Act, which will see the introduction of an inspection system for septic tanks and other domestic waste-water treatment systems in Ireland.
The registration of septic tanks has caused controversy with the opponents claiming it is anti-rural and that the charge is merely another tax. The Department of the Environment has also been criticised for failing to provide grant aid for households whose septic tanks will need upgrading. Under legislation, all tanks must be registered by February 1 or face the prospect of fines of up to €5,000. Registration will be valid for five years, and there will be no charge for re-registration. There will also be no fee for inspections, which are due to commence in 2013.
It is understood that septic tanks located close to waterways will be the first to be inspected, and Mr Condon confirmed that households will be notified in advance of any inspection. He said that Mayo County Council staff are expected to perform the inspections and tanks will have to operate to the recommended standard set down by the EPA for it to pass.
Householders can register their septic tanks online at www.protectourwater.ie or in person at any local authority office in the county or by post. Application forms are available from local authority offices, Citizens Information Centres and public libraries.
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