Replacement scheme needed for on-site waste water treatment systems. - Milne
Sinn Féin MLA Ian Milne has called on the Environment Minister Mark H Durkan to implement a scheme similar to that which operates in the South of Ireland to replace septic tanks used in on-site waste water treatment systems (OSWWTS).
Mr Milne said,
“Many residential developments and individual homes which are not connected to the main sewage system are serviced by on site waste water treatment systems which need consent to be emptied.
“However, this only applies to systems installed since 1973 and many septic tanks are now over 40 years-old and unfit for purpose.
“Recent surveys have shown many of the tanks are leaking and causing environmental damage to the local area impacting on the quality of local water and on the health of people in their vicinity.
“In fact over 50 per cent of the tanks over 50 years-old failed inspection so it is fair to say that many pre-1973 tanks would not meet current safety standards.
“In the south of Ireland the government induced a scheme where households could apply for grants of up to €4,000 to replace old and defective systems.
“Not only would this reduce damage to the local environments but it would also allow the environment agency to list the location of all septic tanks as there is no record of those installed pre 1973.
“I am calling on the Minister to implement a similar scheme in the North which will bring all septic tanks used in on-site waste water treatment systems up to the required safety standard.”