Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Questions (631, 632)

Tony McLoughlin

Question:

631. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the progress in the ongoing talks between the EPA, his officials and officials from Leitrim County Council regarding the design of a wastewater percolation system for County Leitrim that would be acceptable under the 2010 EPA guidelines for wastewater treatment plants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42008/19]

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Tony McLoughlin

Question:

632. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the progress in the design of a wastewater percolation system that would be acceptable under the 2010 EPA guidelines for wastewater treatment plants in County Leitrim and in particular if he has reached a conclusion on funding for a pilot programme in co-operation with the Minister for Rural and Community Development.; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42009/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 631 and 632 together.

My Department has met with Leitrim County Council on three occasions recently with a view to agreeing the scope of the Council's proposed research project proposal examining the feasibility of a zero discharge wastewater system for single houses.

Separately, the Environmental Protection Agency is reviewing its ‘Code of Practice for Waste Water Treatment and Disposal Systems Serving Single Houses’ which sets the current standard for septic tank-type systems. I anticipate that the EPA will soon present a revised and updated Code.

The proposed research project is complex and will involve the construction and monitoring of several full-scale pilot systems across a three to four year period. My Department agreed with Leitrim County Council that the project would be best advanced within the realm of the EPA’s water research programme. I anticipate that Leitrim County Council will have a proposal ready shortly to discuss further with the Department and the EPA. Any further funding requirements will be examined in that context.

I look forward to receiving the outcome of the research as soon as it is complete.