Thursday, 4 November 2004

Questions (115)

Denis Naughten

Question:

112 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the grants available for group sewerage and water schemes; his plans to review these grants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21415/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

Grants of up to 100% of approved cost are available to privately sourced group water schemes for the provision of essential water treatment and disinfection facilities. Grants of up to 85% of cost are available for related civil works, such as buildings, reservoirs and pipelines, for works associated with connecting group schemes to local authority water mains and for the provision and upgrading of group water schemes generally. All grants are subject to a maximum eligible cost of €7,618 per house. While I am keeping the grant levels under continuing review in consultation with the national rural water monitoring committee and the national federation of group water schemes, there are no proposals at present for an increase.

Group sewerage scheme grants of up to 75% of approved cost, subject to a maximum grant of €2,031 per house, are available for the provision of common or shared waste water disposal systems.

The national rural water monitoring committee is overseeing the implementation of a pilot programme by local authorities to test a range of new, small-scale waste water collection and treatment systems. In total, 12 villages in six counties have been selected as locations for the pilot programme and construction is expected to commence shortly.

Subject to a satisfactory outcome to the pilot testing, the national rural water monitoring committee envisages a potential role for group sewerage schemes in the collection of domestic wastewater from households outside the immediate catchment of such treatment systems. Confirmation of such a role for group sewerage schemes and any review of the associated grants must await the outcome of the pilot programme.