Following on from the recommendations contained in the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services report in April 2017, a Working Group was established to conduct a review of the wider investment needs relating to the rural water services.
As part of its work, the Working Group recommended a number of revisions to the existing grant scheme that provided support towards the remediation, repair, or upgrading works to, or the replacement of, domestic wastewater treatment systems. This scheme was limited to providing financial support for homeowners where septic tanks had been subject to inspection by the relevant local authority in accordance with the EPA's National Inspection Plan for Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems. In particular, the income limits for support under the scheme were abolished and the grant rates increased.
The Working Group also recommended introducing two new grant schemes to support the attainment of water quality objectives in 'prioritised areas for action' and ‘high status objective catchment areas", as identified in the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018-2021.
These revised and new grant schemes were introduced by my Department earlier this year.
In implementing the revised arrangements the Department has undertaken to conduct a review of the grant schemes after one year of operation to ensure their alignment with policy objectives.