On 8 February this year, I announced details of the measures being funded through my Department under the Multi-annual Rural Water Programme 2019-2021. This included an improved funding scheme for on-site wastewater treatment systems (more commonly known as septic tanks).
The composition of the new multi-annual programme is based on recommendations from the Working Group that I established in April 2018 to conduct a review of investment needs and rural water services. The Working Group, which is chaired by my Department, includes nominees from the National Federation of Group Water Schemes, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Health Service Executive, Department of Rural and Community Development and local authorities, through the County and City Management Association (CCMA). The Working Group considered all elements of Rural Water Services, including enhancements to the scheme for Domestic Wastewater Treatment systems to better support the programme of measures in the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018-2021, published in 2018.
Work is at an advanced stage of development for the funding scheme. I expect that the process will be completed in the coming weeks when the necessary Statutory Instruments containing regulations dealing with the financial assistance arrangements and related administrative matters are put in place. This will enable circular letters, terms and conditions, guidance and application forms to issue to local authorities shortly thereafter.