Connaught Telegraph: 78% septic tanks failure rate in Mayo

by Aoife
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SEVENTY-EIGHT per cent of septic tanks inspected in Mayo in the period 2017-18 had a ‘failed’ rating.

The number of inspections required of the local authority during that period was 122. However, 169 tanks were actually inspected.

The Environmental Protection Agency has released a review of over 2,000 inspections of septic tanks and other domestic waste water treatment systems in 2017 and 2018. Nearly half of the systems failed inspection because they were not built or maintained properly. 

The report reveals that in Mayo, the failure rate was 78%. As of March of this year, for the systems failing period 2013-18, 56% of those systems had been fixed.

Commenting on the report, Dr. Tom Ryan, director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement, said: “If you do not maintain your septic tank, it can contaminate your own or your neighbour’s well or your local stream, putting your health at risk and that of your family and neighbours. You can take simple steps to maintain your septic tank by making sure it is not leaking, ponding or discharging to ditches and by cleaning it out regularly.”

The report found that nearly one-third of systems that failed inspections during 2013-2018 are still not fixed. Local authorities need to take appropriate measures to ensure householders fix systems that fail inspection.

Said Noel Byrne, senior scientist in the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement: “It is important that householders fix systems where problems are detected. To improve water quality, the government’s proposed expanded septic tank grant scheme, due to be launched later this year, will increase the maximum grant aid available to €5,000 and remove the means test requirements.”

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