Treatment Plants

February 12th, 2008 - Pat Breen

Question No. 600

Chun an Aire Comhshaoil, Oidhreachta agus Rialtais Áitiúil:

To the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government:

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on proposals for the installation of proprietary waste water treatment plants; if a grant scheme will be introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Pat Breen.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 12th February, 2008.

Ref No: 4582/08

REPLY

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Gormley):

Part H of the Building Regulations (Drainage and Waste Water Disposal) and the relevant technical guidance document sets out the requirements for the treatment of effluent from wastewater systems. Wastewater treatment systems other than septic tanks are accepted as satisfactory provided they are fit for the use for which they are intended and for the conditions in which they are used.

The Irish Agrement Board (IAB) is the national and European recognised body for certifying new building products or systems for which national standards do not exist. The IAB is an independent body which operates under the aegis of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

A new European Standard (EN 12566-3) for small wastewater treatment plants has been introduced and is now in the transitional phase of implementation. The need for new systems to comply with this standard has been brought to the attention of local authorities by my Department’s Circular Letters BC16/2006 and BC 2/2008, of 8 November 2006 and 28 January 2008 respectively.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently finalising a revised edition of their Manual on Wastewater Treatment Systems serving Single Houses, in consultation with all interested parties.

The Programme for Government also includes a commitment to introduce a support scheme for replacing and upgrading septic tanks older than 15 years with newer systems. My Department is currently considering the terms, conditions and other arrangements that may be appropriate to taking this commitment forward.