EPA Inspection plan for domestic waste water systems

The EPA has published the National Inspection Plan for Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems 2013 and the European Commission has announced that Ireland has now adopted all the measures necessary to ensure compliance with the Court of Justice judgment in Case C‑188/08.

  • The Plan outlines how septic tanks and waste water treatment systems will be inspected.
  • The EPA has identified areas of priority and set minimum inspection levels for each local authority.
  • Inspections will be concentrated in areas where waste water discharges present a high risk to human health or the environment.
  • Priority areas are based on levels of risk to sensitive water receptors, for example, drinking water sources, bathing waters, or pearl mussel beds. 

When inspections commence, homeowners will be notified of an inspection at least 10 days in advance by their local authority.  
Inspections will focus on determining whether or not the treatment system poses a risk to human health or the environment. Checks will include:

  • Whether the system is registered
  • Is the system leaking?
  • Are system components are in working order
  • Is effluent is ponding on the surface of the ground
  • If the system is not discharging directly to surface water without a licence
  • Does rainwater or clean surface water enter the system
  • Is  the system is being properly operated and maintained
  • Has the system been de-sludged.

The EPA have uploaded a video to Youtube on the inspection process.
ECOS Environmental Consultants Limited