54% of septic tanks fail Cork council inspections

Poor maintenance, and not desludging the tank, were the main reasons for failure.
54% of septic tanks fail Cork council inspections

59 septic tank inspections were carried out by Cork County Council under the National Inspection Plan in 2020.

OF the septic tanks assessed by Cork County Council in 2020, 54% failed the inspection, it has been revealed.

According to a new report, 59 septic tank inspections were carried out by Cork County Council under the National Inspection Plan in 2020. Thirty-two of the systems inspected failed, which is a 54% failure rate.

The report stated that poor maintenance, and not desludging the tank, were the main reasons for failure.

The details were provided in an environment report for quarter two circulated at Cork County Council’s southern committee meeting on Monday.

Risks involved 

The council report outlined that septic tanks can contaminate household wells with harmful bacteria and viruses if not built and operated properly. As well as this, excessive releases of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus can cause pollution in receiving waters.

Senior executive officer with the environment department, Ted O’Leary said: 

“It appears that what tends to happen is septic tanks tend to put in where there is no public water infrastructure, typically they are installed when a house is built and possibly through human nature, people tend to forget about them, until they cause a problem.”

Grants available to help 

Noel Byrne, EPA national inspection plan programme manager, said: “It is important that householders fix septic tanks where problems are detected. There is a grant scheme available to assist householders to fix failing septic tanks. Local authorities should focus their efforts to resolve open cases to ensure human health and the environment are protected.”

The septic tank grant scheme, which was expanded in 2020, offers grants of €5,000 to assist in addressing malfunctioning systems.

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