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Septic Tank Situation Needs To Be Reviewed

The situation with regard to the inspections and work which is required to be carried out on septic tanks nationwide needs to be reviewed urgently and I will be raising the matter this week with Minister Alan Kelly The reality is that in certain cases people are being expected to spend up to 10,000 Euro replacing or refurbishing their septic tanks following inspection, and in a lot of cases people simply cannot afford that kind of money. The grants available are up to a maximum of 4,000 Euro and many are not able to afford to make up the difference. In fact the grants are salary-related and very few people qualify for the full grant. There are many low and middle income families who are affected by this problem. There are many elderly people also who are under severe stress, worrying how they are going to pay these bills and it is very unfair that they should find themselves in that position. In many cases people complied with planning regulations at the time and now they find that they are in breach of the new regulations. It is my view that 80% of the cost of refurbishing or replacing septic tanks should be covered by grant aid. Minister Kelly has presided over an amnesty for others on this issue and I will be raising this matter with him this week. Surely a workable solution can be found to this problem which is affecting a lot of people in rural areas.