About Domestic Wastewater Treatment Systems Registration
The Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012 requires water services authorities to maintain a register of domestic waste water treatment systems in their functional areas. The Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) has developed a central on-line registration system and will manage the system on a shared-service basis for the water services authorities.
Under the Act, owners of domestic waste water treatment systems are required to ensure that their systems are on the register. Your registration will contribute to the protection of Ireland's ground and surface waters.
All septic tanks and other types of treatment and disposal systems for domestic waste water should be registered not later than 1st February 2013
What is the purpose of Domestic Wastewater Treatment Systems Registration?
The purpose of the registration and inspection system for domestic wastewater treatment systems, introduced under the Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012, is to protect ground and surface water quality (particularly drinking water sources) from the risks posed by malfunctioning systems. All owners of premises connected to a domestic wastewater treatment system are required to register their systems
Who has to register under the legislation?
All owners of domestic wastewater treatment systems are required to register their systems with the water services authority in whose functional area the systems are located. However, owners of properties connected to larger on-site systems which discharge in excess of 5 cubic metres per day do not need to register. Such systems, which serve sports clubs, pubs, hotels, guesthouses and other businesses require a licence from the relevant local authority under Section 4 of the Water Pollution Act 1997.
What is a domestic wastewater treatment system?
Domestic wastewater treatment systems include all septic tanks, waste water tanks and treatment systems receiving, storing, treating or disposing of domestic waste water. It also includes all fittings and percolation areas associated with such tanks and systems and drains used to discharge waste water from a premises, whether or not a receiving tank is present.
Where can I find out more information about the legislation and inspections?
For further information on the legislation and the inspection process:
The Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012:
The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government website:
The EPA Website:
and for further information: http://www.epa.ie/whatwedo/advice/wastewater/legislation/
Is my wastewater treatment system going to be inspected?
The Environmental Protection Agency is developing a National Inspection Plan. The Agency will use a risk-based approach in developing the plan. No decisions have been made regarding the numbers or locations of inspections to be carried out, or the risk-based criteria to be used when targeting those inspections.
Inspections under the new legislation will not commence until 2013 and the commencement of inspections will be publicised in the national and local media. You should take care not to allow uninvited persons, or persons claiming to be septic tank inspectors, to enter onto your property in advance of the launch of inspections. You will be formally notified by your water services authority if your domestic wastewater treatment system is to be inspected. Inspectors will be required to carry identification and you should ask for this to be presented to you.
What are the exemptions from having to register and pay the fee?
There are no exemptions. All owners of premises connected to domestic waste water treatment systems must register their system. This includes owners of properties which are let, whether private landlords or local authorities etc. and employers who provide living accommodation to employees.
Where an owner is unable to register, for example due to physical or mental incapacity, registration on their behalf should be made by the next-of-kin, legal representative or other authorised or appropriate person.
How much is the registration fee?
The registration fee is set at €5 for the first three months of the registration period and €50 thereafter. The offer of €5 finishes on 28th of September 2012.
How do I register and pay the registration fee?
Online - www.protectourwater.ie - by credit card/debit card.
By Post: Registration forms are available online; from City/County Councils; Libraries; Citizen Information Centres or Lo Call 1890 800 800.
Payment can be made by cheque, postal order or bank draft and made payable to “Protect Our Water". Send your form with payment to: Protect Our Water, P.O Box 12204, Dublin 7.
Local Authority Offices: Payment by credit or debit card or by cheque, postal order, bank draft or cash can be made in your City or County Council office (no administration fee will be charged by the Council for this).
When do I have to register and pay fee by?
Owners of domestic wastewater treatment systems have until 01/02/2013 to register and pay fee.
What happens if I don't register?
If you don’t register your system, you are committing an offence. Local authorities will be responsible for following-up cases of non-compliance. The maximum penalty for an individual who commits an offence under the legislation is a fine of €5,000.
What will the registration fees be used for?
The registration fees are intended to cover the costs to the water services authorities of administering the registration system and of managing the risk-based inspections to be carried out.
Who is collecting the Registration Fee?
The registration fee is being collected centrally by the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) on a shared service basis on behalf of the water services authorities. Payment can also be made direct to your local authority.
What details do I require to register and pay?
You will be asked for the following information when registering:
- your name,
- your email address (if registering online),
- your address for correspondence purposes,
- the address of the property connected to a domestic wastewater treatment system (if different to your correspondence address)
- credit or debit card details for payment
If registering online, you will also be asked to create a password so that you can access your account in the future. These details must be provided or you will be unable to complete the registration process.
You will also be asked for information such as your telephone number and the Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN) for the property connected to the domestic wastewater treatment system.
Can I register and pay for more than one property?
Yes, you can pay for multiple properties both online and by submitting the relevant forms with payment to: Protect Our Water, PO BOX 12204, Dublin 7.
Will I receive a payment receipt?
You can print off your receipt from the online system when you complete payment or a receipt will be emailed to your email address if you have provided one during registration.
If you submit a form and payment to the Protect Our Water, PO BOX 12204, Dublin 7, you will receive a printed receipt in the post.
If you register and pay cash at a local authority office you will receive a receipt there.
If you deliver a registration form and non-cash payment (cheque, postal order etc.) to your local authority office you will receive a receipt from the Protect Our Water Bureau by post.
Please retain your receipts.
A Certificate of Registration will be issued to you (by post) when your registration fee is processed.
Why is the MPRN requested?
Your MPRN is prominently displayed on the electricity bills you receive from your Supplier. An example of what an MPRN number looks like is: 10009998888.
I own a mobile home that is connected to a septic tank. Does it need to be registered?
Yes – all residential premises, including buildings, caravans and mobile homes or other structures connected to a domestic wastewater treatment system must be registered.
Who has to register and pay the fee where a property is jointly owned?
The registration requirement falls on all co-owners but registration and payment can be made by any one co-owner.
What happens if I sell or transfer ownership of my property?
You will require a Certificate of Registration when selling/transferring ownership of a property. This certificate will confirm that the property has been registered.
If you are in the process of selling your property then please contact the Protect Our Water Support Centre by phone or email after you have registered your property's domestic wastewater treatment system and request a Certificate of Registration.
The new owner is responsible for updating the ownership details on the register.
What is the position where a sole owner of a property dies?
Where a person who is the sole owner of a property dies, no action is necessary until the execution of the will or administration of the estate is complete and the property passes to the beneficiary. The beneficiary will then be responsible for updating the register.
If a property was purchased under the Shared Ownership Scheme, does it have to be registered?
I own a property that is connected to a septic tank, but it is unoccupied. Does it need to be registered?
How long does my certificate of registration last?
Your certificate of registration is valid for five years and the date of expiry will appear on the certificate. Re-registration after five years is necessary as the first registration is intended to identify only the ownership and location of domestic wastewater treatment systems. It is expected that over the coming years, public information campaigns will help you learn more about your system and you will be better placed to provide more information regarding it when you re-register. There will be no fee payable for second or subsequent registrations.
What will the information on the register be used for?
Access to the information held on the register will be restricted to the local authorities and the EPA. Your personal information will not be shared with any other public or private body. A privacy statement can be viewed at http://www.protectourwater.ie/Privacy.aspx.