GOOD NEWS for houses in rural ireland

7 June 2020
By Elaine Murphy

Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard has highlighted changes to grants for septic tanks and wells which will see increased funding available to people in Cork. The changes come under Measure 8 of the Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme, which runs from 2019 to 2021.

Cork Senator Tim Lombard

Senator Lombard said, “Under the Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme, the Government is allocating €1.25 million in grants for domestic wastewater treatment systems [septic tanks] and €4 million in respect of grants for private water supplies [wells] for 2020. 

“The funding is being provided to local authorities across the country under the National Development Plan 2018-2027 and Cork County Council will benefit.

“This year the means test is being removed for funding for private water supplies as well as domestic wastewater treatment systems. In both cases, the maximum grants are also being increased: up to €5,000 for domestic wastewater treatment systems and up to €3,000 for works to an existing well or up to €5,000 for a new well.

“The funding will support infrastructure improvements for domestic wastewater treatment systems and private water supplies in rural areas in Cork. 

“This funding announcement builds on the significant investment already being made through the Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme, to support the communities and the local economies of rural Ireland.

“The Government continues to work with local authorities and group water schemes to ensure that people living in rural Ireland have access to quality water services, equivalent to those living in urban areas,” Senator Lombard concluded. 

The announcement follows the introduction of the Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme 2019-2021, which made changes and improvements in how funding was targeted in relation to rural water services.  Funding under the first seven measures was approved by Minister Eoghan Murphy and announced last year. 

Key details of funding under Measure 8 are as follows:

  • Domestic wastewater treatment systems:
  • The removal of the means test requirement.
  • The maximum grant is being increased to €5,000.
  • Expansion of the scheme to include two new grant schemes to support the attainment of water quality objectives in what are called ‘high status objective catchment’ water areas and ‘prioritised areas for action’, as identified in the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018-2021.
  • Private water supplies:
  • The removal of the means test requirement.
  • The maximum grant will increase from €2,031 to €3,000 for improvement works to an existing well.
  • The revised maximum grant payable for the provision of a new well is €5,000, where the housing authority agrees that this is the most appropriate solution.

Commenting further on the investment programme, Minister Murphy said:

“It is important that rural communities receive the equity of treatment and financial support equivalent to those living in urban communities, and that they benefit from top quality water infrastructure and services.  People living in rural communities are already benefiting from the funding under the seven measures of the Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme.  The four grant schemes announced today complete the implementation of the recommendations that resulted from Strand 1 of that review.

The work of the review group is continuing, and I expect further reports on the longer-term investment needs for rural water services that go beyond the areas covered by the measures contained in the current Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme.

It is essential that we take strong steps to protect and improve our water quality.  The Government will continue to work in partnership with all of the relevant groups, bodies and agencies to build on the work done and plan for the long-term delivery of water quality improvements.”

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