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Septic tank charges issue for Dublin householders ignored – Deputy Seán Crowe

26 January, 2012 - by Seán Crowe TD

Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe, speaking this week during a debate in the Dáil on the Water Services Bill said that a large number of people living in the Dublin area are worried about septic tank charges.
Deputy Crowe said: “It is not only rural areas that are worried about to the laws governing sceptic tank usage. Figures indicate that approximately 19,500 people living in the Dublin area use septic tanks.
“In my local authority area alone, the figure is somewhere in the region of 5,000 and the Dublin South West constituency which I represent, covers rural areas such as Bohernabreena, Glenahole, Glassamuckley and Brittas.
“Because this area provides drinking water for the city, a stringent approach is taken to planning applications to ensure there is rigours enforcement of environmental laws. Many householders are concerned about what may be coming down the line and they are seeking clarity on what impact this Water Service Bill will have on their families.
“It is difficult for people to understand why they have to pay this tax when in some cases, within yards from their home, their neighbours are linked up to the main sewerage system. They are having pay a new tax, a double standard that they cannot understand.
“No effort has been forthcoming from the Local Authority, or the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to try to bring these people into the water or sewerage schemes. I have asked Minister Hogan to explain what supports would be forthcoming so that an action plan can be put in place for those who find themselves in this situation.
“Sinn Féin fully supports the upgrading of septic tanks as ground water and the environment must be protected. This legislation however, is a knee jerk reaction to EU regulations and the threat of fines from the EU for the failure of consecutive governments to deal with this issue.
“The bill demands that any upgrading must be funded by the householder. This is unacceptable and a fund must be established to assist householders to meet the payment of any upgrade. Many households simply will not be able to pay for upgrades and they should not run the risk of being criminalised.
“Tallaght is a large urban area yet many people use a septic tank system. When I raised this matter with the local authority I have been told no funding is available. The Government must look at reconnecting people who have septic tanks onto the main’s system. Many of the people who are affected by this issue are elderly and do not have the financial means to get this work done privately.
“All of us want to ensure a top class, clean water system but we should not penalise people who, through no fault of their own, face a hefty bill to meet these new regulations. Many of the families affected by this issue in the Tallaght area do not want to be reliant on wells, chemical toilets or septic tanks. They want to be connected to a fit for purpose mains system but their plight has been largely ignored
“It is an issue the government must exam closely.”

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