Connaughton welcomes grants for septic tank upgrading

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The announcement of a grant scheme to help households whose septic tanks and water treatment system require upgrading has been welcomed by East Galway T.D. Paul Connaughton.
‘A maximum grant of €4,000 is to be made available to households where household income is under €50,000, while those whose household income is between €50,000 and €75,000 can avail of a maximum grant of €2,500.
‘Since the registration scheme for septic tanks was announced, I have been lobbying the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan T.D., for a grant scheme to help those who can ill afford to carry out remedial work to septic tanks. I believe that the grants as announced are a step in the right direction, but I will continue to press for a more substantial grant for affected households.
‘The grants as announced, represent a percent of the total cost of the upgrade. For example the €4,000 grant will cover up to 80% of the costs incurred, while the €2,500 grant will cover up to 50% of the costs incurred.
‘For many householders, problems with septic tanks can be dealt with by regular desludging, but for some, more substantial remediation work will be required to ensure that ground water and drinking water supplies are not contaminated. Many householders in East Galway use water from their own wells or from their local group water scheme and these householders will well understand the need to protect our ground water supplies.
‘A strict condition of eligibility for the new grant aid is that the householder must have registered their system by February 1st next year. To date, just under 60% of people have registered their systems. The grant assistance will only be available to householders whose systems have been inspected and found to be in need of remediation. Householders will be notified in writing in advance by their local authority if their system is to be inspected and for safety reasons, householders should always ask for evidence of identification from people calling to their doors.
‘I am hopeful that a common sense approach to the inspection process can be implemented and believe that the grant system as announced will go some way towards helping those most in need to deal with any problems identified in the inspection process.’