The Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems (Financial Assistance) Regulations 2013, a copy of which is available in the Oireachtas library, brought into operation a grant scheme to assist with the cost of remediation of septic tanks and domestic waste water treatment systems which are deemed, following inspection under the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Inspection Plan, to require repair or upgrading.
The Regulations provide that, subject to the applicant meeting all qualification criteria, a local authority may pay a grant to a person who is required, following an inspection, to undertake repairs or upgrades to, or replacement of, a septic tank or other domestic waste water treatment system. Applications for grant aid are administered by the local authority in whose functional area the particular domestic waste water treatment system requiring remediation is situated. The local authorities then seek recoupment of the amounts paid from my Department. Where a local authority pays a grant under the scheme, my Department will reimburse to the local authority 100% of the amount paid.
Full details of the scheme, including eligibility criteria, are set out in the explanatory leaflet and application form published on my Department’s website at the following link:
The grants scheme ensures that the limited financial resources available are targeted towards householders, particularly those on lower incomes, who incur expenditure directly as a result of the inspection scheme. My Department is revising this scheme to better support the programme of measures in the finalised River Basin Management Plan 2018 - 2021 published recently. The scheme is being extended in order to provide particular support to high status waters and areas identified for priority action in the River Basin Management Plan.
I have recently approved the establishment of a Working Group to conduct a review of the wider investment needs relating to rural water services. The review will focus on the actions required to improve and sustain rural water services and will consider issues such as governance, supervision and monitoring of the sector, in addition to capital investment priorities and requirements across all elements of rural water services, including domestic waste water treatment systems. The establishment of the Working Group is being undertaken in response to the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services.
The organisations that are participating on the Working Group reflect the importance and wide ranging impact of the Rural Water Sector. In addition to my Department, the Working Group is to comprise the Department of Rural and Community Development, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Health Service Executive, the National Federation of Group Water Schemes and the County and City Management Association. It is expected that the Working Group will consult with other relevant stakeholders in respect of specific topics under consideration.
Householders who do not meet the eligibility criteria for the grant under the aforementioned Regulations and who wish to remediate or upgrade their on-site treatment systems may qualify for relief under the Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) Scheme introduced pursuant to section 5 of the Finance (No. 2) Act 2013. The HRI Scheme covers main residence repairs, renovations and improvements, including the repair or replacement of septic tanks. The Scheme is administered by the Revenue Commissioners and full details are published on the Revenue Commissioners' website at www.revenue.ie .