I propose to take Questions Nos. 448 and 449 together.
In June 2005 I approved funding for the provision of new waste water facilities at seven locations in County Tipperary as a pilot programme to test a range of new, small-scale waste water collection and treatment systems under Irish conditions. The pilot programme, proposed by the National Rural Water Monitoring Committee, will also test a low cost, low maintenance system to collect, treat and dispose of effluent from existing septic tanks. The objective of the pilot scheme is to evaluate new approaches to meeting the waste water collection and treatment needs of rural villages and to examine the potential role for group sewerage schemes in extending the collection systems to households outside the catchment of new or existing sewerage schemes. Implementation of the pilot programme is currently underway. Three of the schemes are expected to be completed by September and the remainder by the end of the year. Performance monitoring of each scheme will commence immediately after commissioning and I will be asking the National Rural Water Monitoring to report on results as they become available. Overall assessment of the pilot programme will inform any review of the current group sewerage scheme grants.