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Septic Tank System Check

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Septic Tank System Check

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Create Date20th February 2017
Last Updated

Have you completed a septic tank system check?

This leaflet tells you how to:

  1.  Check your septic tank works
  2. Maintain it properly
  3. Protect your health and local environment

Maintain your wastewater system and you will help to protect your health and local environment.

“A well maintained system in the right site with the right soil conditions will protect your health, your local environment and your pocket.”

Around 500,000 households in Ireland have a wastewater system that includes septic tanks and packaged systems.

About 137,000 of these also have a private well for drinking water. Since 2013, all homeowners with a wastewater system must be registered with their local authority (LA).

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent public body. We are responsible for supervising local authorities when they inspect wastewater systems. We do this to ensure that the systems are suitable and well maintained.

A quarter of wastewater systems (25%) inspected failed the LAs inspection due to poor operation and poor maintenance.

Poorly maintained wastewater systems can affect your drinking water especially from private wells.

Many people assume that their private well water is safe to drink and don’t treat it or get it tested. They shouldn’t because a recent study found that E.coli, which can cause serious illness, is present in almost a third (29%) of Irish private wells.


Septic Tank System Check.pdf  Download  


Who is involved?

Quite simply, everyone in Ireland has a role to play. This can be from something as simple as making sure you don’t pollute your local stream, or a local community working together to establish a Rivers Trust to enhance the rivers and lakes in their area, to a Government Department or Agency helping a Minister implement a new policy to help protect and enhance all our water bodies.

This website has been developed and is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is a collaboration between the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Local Authority Waters Programme.


Local Authority Waters Programme

The Local Authority Waters Programme coordinates the efforts of local authorities and other public bodies in the implementation of the River Basin Management Plan, and supports local community and stakeholder involvement in managing our natural waters, for everyone’s benefit.


Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4,842 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives for each.


Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

The Department is responsible for making sure that the right policies, regulations and resources are in place to implement the Water Framework Directive, and developing a River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures to protect and restore our waters.