Septic tank charges “unfair on rural families” - Inishowen TDs

Two Inishowen TD’s have spoken out against septic tanks charges which the government plan to implement saying they will add an unfair financial burden to rural families.

People in rural Ireland could face bills of up €12,000 euro for their septic tanks, according to new legislation published by the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan on Thursday.

The legislation includes a registration charge, multiple inspection charges and possible significant upgrade charges.

For a household that appeals an inspector’s findings and subsequently has to carry out upgrade works, the cost between inspection charges and registration charges could be up to €450 while where a person is forced to replace a septic tank with a proprietary treatment plant, it could cost up to €12,000 between planning permission, ecologists reports and construction of the system.

Carndonagh Fianna Fail TD Charlie McConalogue said the plans will have serious financial consequences for rural Ireland.

Buncrana’s Sinn Féin TD, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has called on the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan to outline how his Government proposes to support struggling families to cope with the cost of replacing septic tanks deemed to be faulty under an EU Waste Water Directive now to be implemented later this year.

Sinn Féin organised two public meetings in Donegal North East to raise public awareness about the issue and build support for their campaign against the unfair financial burden this may have on many rural families.

“The potential costs to rural households in meeting this Directive if an inspection results in an instruction to replace a septic tank is the main concern for rural families in Donegal and across the state.

“Minister Phil Hogan has not mentioned any Government support to hard pressed families that may be left with costs in the thousands of euro.

“Fairness and equality must be central to government policy and this requires equal support for those living in rural and urban areas.

“However it is clear that the Government’s approach to this Directive discriminates against rural Donegal.”

Deputy McConalogue added: “Fianna Fáil will oppose this Bill tooth and nail and will stand up for the rights of septic tank owners across Co. Donegal,” concluded Deputy McConalogue.