How do I get a septic tank grant?

What is a Domestic Wastewater Treatment System?

Domestic wastewater treatment systems include all septic tanks, holding tanks, and treatment systems that receive, store, treat, or dispose of domestic wastewater.

This also includes all fittings and infiltration areas associated with such tanks and systems and drains for the discharge of wastewater from a building, whether or not a holding tank is present.

Do I have to register my septic tank?

All domestic wastewater treatment systems, including septic tanks, must be registered with your local authority. There is a fee of €50 to register your wastewater treatment plant.

You can register and pay online at

If you fail to register your system and are convicted, you could face a fine of up to €5,000.

If you would like to receive a grant to repair or replace your treatment system in the future, your treatment system must be registered within a certain period of time. Replacement systems do not need to be re-registered.

What happens if I sell my property or transfer ownership?

When selling/transferring ownership of a property, you will need a registration certificate. This certificate confirms that the property has been registered.

If you are in the process of selling your property, you should contact Protect Our Water Support Center by phone or email after registering your property's domestic wastewater treatment system and requesting a certificate of registration.

The new owner is responsible for updating the property details in the register.

Will my treatment system be checked?

Your wastewater treatment plant can be inspected by the local authority. Your local authority will write to you and tell you that they will inspect your system. They will give you at least 10 working days notice before the inspection.

If you want your septic system checked, you should:

Have your sewer system registration certificate ready

Know where your wastewater treatment system is located

Have all documentation related to installation or maintenance of your system available

Inspectors are appointed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and must show you their identification upon request.

If your treatment system is working properly, you will receive a certificate confirming this. If the inspector finds problems with your system, you will receive a notification within 21 days of the inspection.

This notice describes the problems with your system and gives you a period of time to resolve them.

Can I get a grant to repair or replace my septic tank?

You may be able to receive a grant to repair, upgrade, or replace your wastewater treatment system. You can apply for funding of 85% of the costs of repairing your system or a new system, up to a maximum of €5,000.

To be eligible for these grants your treatment scheme must be registered with the local authority.

What changes have there been from January 2024?

From January 1, 2024, the septic tank subsidy will increase from €5,000 to €12,000. This subsidy is also available to people who have not registered a septic tank by February 1, 2013.

What different types of grants are there?

There are three different funding programs for wastewater treatment. One grant is available to people to upgrade or repair their system following an inspection, whilst the other two grants are only available if you live in a specific area and are informed by your local authority that you are eligible to apply.

You cannot receive a subsidy for routine maintenance, servicing or desludging of a wastewater treatment plant.

How do I apply for a grant for a septic tank?

Application forms for each program are available on For more information about these programs, you can contact your local authority's rural water department. You can also contact your local Citizen Information Center.

Where can I get more information about septic tanks?

The Environmental Protection Agency has published a series of frequently asked questions about wastewater treatment systems. Their website is

You can also find detailed FAQs at

For further information you can contact Cork County Council or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA Cork regional office telephone number is 021 4875540

  • Our telephone lines at South Munster Citizens Information Center in Cork City are monitored Monday to Friday from 10am to 4.30pm. Additionally, the Cork City Center CIC on Cornmarket Street is open to the public on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:45am to 1:00pm and on Wednesdays from 2:00pm to 4:30pm. Blackpool CIC is open to the public every morning on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 4pm. Detailed information can be found on our website.
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