On 8 February 2019, I announced details of the measures being funded through my Department under the Multi-annual Rural Water Programme 2019-2021. This included improved funding 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 new funding scheme for septic tanks will replace the grant which was brought into operation by the Domestic Waste Water Treatment System (Financial Assistance) Regulations 2013. Under certain conditions, households can receive a grant to assist them in carrying out remediation, repair or upgrading works to, or replacement of, their individual domestic wastewater treatment system.
In developing the necessary regulatory and administrative changes to underpin the revised grants scheme, my Department has over recent months consulted and met with key stakeholders, including the County and City Management Association, the Local Authority Waters and Communities Office and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Work is at an advanced stage of development for the new scheme. I expect that the process will be completed shortly when the necessary regulations dealing with the financial assistance arrangements and related administrative matters are put in place. This will enable a circular letter, terms and conditions, guidance and the application form to issue to local authorities shortly thereafter.