Quarter of septic tanks in Louth failed inspection, says EPA report

EPA issues health risk warning posed by inadequate waste water systems

Tamara O'Connell

Reporter:

Tamara O'Connell

Quarter of septic tanks in Louth failed inspection, says EPA report

A QUARTER of septic tanks inspected in Co Louth last year failed to meet adequate standards according to a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report.

The failure by homeowners to maintain and operate a septic tank system adequately can pose a health and environmental risk through the pollution of private drinking wells or water courses.

The National Inspection Plan for Domestic Waste water Systems 2016 report revealed that one prosecution is pending against a homeowner in Co Louth following an inspection in 2016.

Local homeowners have been warned by the EPA to take action to protect themselves, their neighbours and their families from risks posed by non-compliant septic tanks.

The EPA said most inspection failures were due to operation and maintenance (nuisance odours, systems not fit for purpose) and desludging issues.

If a septic tank system fails an inspection an advisory notice is issued to the homeowner by the local authority. This specifies what is wrong and what needs to be fixed.

Seven advisory notices were issued in Co Louth last year after inspections showed the septic tanks failed to meet adquate standards.

This figure accounts for a quarter of the 28 septic tanks that were inspected in Co Louth in 2016. The National Inspection Plan 2015-2017 requires local authorities to undertake a minimum of 1,000 national inspections of domestic waste water treatment systems (DWWTS) each year.