Photo credit irelandwastewater.ie
A quarter of the tanks at Laois and Westmeath were also found to be inadequate.
Half of the septic tanks in Offaly and a quarter in Laois and Westmeath failed inspections last year.
A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency raises concerns about delays in repairing failed tanks, which can impact human health and the environment.
Only four of the 18 inspections required at Offaly in 2021 have been carried out.
The main reasons for the failures are structural defects and lack of maintenance.
EPA Inspector Noel Byrne says people need to be responsible for monitoring their own systems:
Mr Byrne calls for stronger enforcement by local authorities to ensure failed systems are repaired:
All required inspections were carried out at Laois and Westmeath.
77% of Westmeath outages resolved by end of 2021; 75% in Laois; and 73% in Westmeath.
All three counties are reported to have “moderate rates of resolved DWWTS outages.”
The figures contained in the 2021 annual report include inspections carried forward from 2020.
Local authorities issue advisory notices urging households to fix systems that fail inspection.
Households should ensure their DWWTS are properly constructed and maintained and their wells tested to protect their family’s health. You can get advice on the EPA website if you are concerned about your DWWTS or well.
DWWTS grants up to €5,000 are available to repair DWWTS in certain circumstances. Details of eligibility criteria are available on the Department for Housing, Local Government and Heritage website and from the local authorities administering the grants. Private well grants may also be available for improvement work on private water supplies.