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Mr. Eoghan Murphy, T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government announced on 8th February 2019 a new investment programme for water services in rural areas from 2019 to 2021.
Measures included are:
•    The means test to qualify for a grant to carry out improvement works on a septic tank is being abolished.

•     and the maximum grant is being increased to €5,000.  (Currently, the maximum grant amounts available are €2,500 and €4,000 depending on the applicant’s means. Eligibility for the grant scheme is also being extended).

•    Guidelines and revised application forms will be sent to local authorities before the changes take effect.

Minister Muphy said:


There are some significant changes from the previous programme with an increased emphasis on the protection of water sources, development of community water services connections and changes to grants for private wells and septic tanks. 


To facilitate these enhancements I have secured an increased capital funding amount for the Programme of €23 million, an increase of €3 million on 2018. 


Under the National Development Plan, total funding of €75 million is to be made available for the period 2019-2021.


And:
We must carefully plan for the efficient and sustainable use and development of water resources and water services in our rural areas


•    Further details are set out below:

•    The new Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme will consist of eight measures.
 
•    Measure 8 - Domestic Wastewater Treatment Systems Grant Scheme (Septic Tanks).

•    This measure is aimed at allowing householders that are dependent on these services to obtain funding support for their improvement.

•    The changes to the grant schemes under Measure 8 (Wells and Septic Tanks) are to come into effect at the end of April 2019.

•    Under the current arrangements, this grant is available from the local authority in the area in which the householder lives.

•      Under certain conditions households can receive a grant to assist them in carrying out remediation, repair or upgrading works to, or replacement of their individual domestic wastewater treatment system, more commonly known as septic tanks.


• To avail of the grant -under existing conditions:


•     the treatment system must have been inspected under the EPA’s National Inspection Plan and an Advisory Notice must have been issued by the local authority under the Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012.

•    Also, the treatment system requiring attention must have been registered by the owner of the premises connected to it by 1 February 2013.


The grant scheme is now being expanded to support the attainment of water quality objectives in what are called ‘high status’ water areas and ‘prioritised areas for action’, as identified in the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018-2021. 

The River Basin Management Plan sets out a list of measures for delivery of environmental objectives that include the regulation of Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems.

The intention is to maintain the existing level of grant funded works arising from inspections under the National Inspection Plan. 

In parallel;

Additional grant applications are being encouraged and facilitated for the costs of repairs or upgrading or replacement of systems from households  with registered domestic wastewater treatment systems located in the designated areas. 

These arrangements are subject to revision of regulations, including in relation to planning.

In order to ensure greater uniformity with other measures in the Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme the means test that previously applied to this grant scheme is being removed and the level of grant support is being increased to 85% of the eligible costs of installation/upgrade or €5,000 (up from €2,500/€4,000), whichever is the lesser.  This represents an increase of 25% and 100%, respectively, relative to the current maximum grant levels.

The operation of the new arrangements will be reviewed later in 2019.

Above are the relevant details and extracts from the Government article regarding the Ministers announcement.
To view the full article click on the following link:


https://www.housing.gov.ie/water/water-services/rural-water-programme/minister-murphy-announces-new-three-year-investment

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