Tuesday, 3 February 2004

Ceisteanna (21)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

149 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his plans to increase the grant available for small group sewerage schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28335/03]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

Group sewerage scheme grants of up to 75% of the 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. Twelve villages in six counties have been selected as locations for the pilot programme. Last year proposals were invited from suitably qualified contractors to design and build those village schemes and to operate and maintain the infrastructure over a 20 year period. Contractors have now been shortlisted, and construction is expected to commence later this year.

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 waste water 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.