3 March 2019
By Bryan Smyth
Means testing to qualify for a grant to carry out improvement works on a septic tank is to be abolished while the maximum grant is to be increased to €5,000, two measures that have been welcomed by North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea.
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. The changes to the grant schemes for septic tanks are planned to come into effect at the end of April 2019, Cllr. O’Shea said, while guidelines and revised application forms will be sent to local authorities before the changes take effect.
These new measures were announced the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy TD, in recent weeks. The new Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme will run from 2019 to 2021 and replacing the previous mode which ran from 2016 to 2018.
The grant scheme for domestic waste water treatment systems (DWWTS) is not a universal scheme – the treatment system concerned must have been inspected and the treatment system requiring remediation must have been registered by the owner of the premises connected to it by the prescribed date of 1st February 2013. There are also income limits regarding availability of the grant.
Cllr. O’Shea said: “Increased capital funding has been secured for this three-year Programme and included in that is the scraping of the means test to qualify for a grant to carry out improvement works on a septic tank, while also increasing the maximum grant to €5,000. Under the National Development Plan, total funding of €75 million is to be made available for the three-year period up to 2021.”
Minister Murphy said: “The increase in funding demonstrates the Government’s strong commitment to supporting this critically important resource. It also reflects the need for additional targeted investment in order to improve the quality and availability of rural water services.
“Good quality water services are a prerequisite to every aspect of social and economic development, and health and wellbeing in all parts of the country.”