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FAQs

     

Please first select a category then a question to view answers to frequently asked questions. The contents of these pages are provided as an information guide only.



The Legislation, Inspections and General Information

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:

http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/pdf/2012/en.act.2012.0002.pdf

Registration Regulations:

http://www.environ.ie/en/Legislation/Environment/Water/FileDownLoad,30599,en.pdf

The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government website:

http://www.environ.ie/en/

The EPA Website:

http://www.epa.ie/

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 (EPA) is responsible for the development of a National Inspection Plan (NIP) for domestic wastewater treatment systems (DWTTS). It published the first National Inspection plan 2013: Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems in February 2013.

The National Inspection Plan for 2015-2017 is available at this link: http://www.epa.ie/water/wastewater/nip/nip2015-2017/

The aim of the Plan is to protect human health and water from the risks posed by domestic waste water treatment systems by using a two-strand approach of education and awareness strategies linked with a risk-based inspection process.

More information on the National Inspection Plan is available on the EPA website: http://www.epa.ie/water/wastewater 

 

Householders should not allow any person to enter their property to examine their domestic wastewater treatment system unless they have received prior notification in writing from their local authority that their system is to be inspected. Any person claiming to be from a local authority should be asked for official identification.

More information on domestic wastewater treatment systems is available at the following link: http://www.epa.ie/water/wastewater 

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 will inspections be carried out?

The EPA’s National Inspection Plan forms the basis for the risk-based inspection system. More information on the National Inspection Plan is available on the EPA website: http://www.epa.ie/water/wastewater/nip/nip2015-2017

The Plan is delivered by Local Authorities and the number of inspections for each county is allocated on a risk basis. 'Risk-based' means putting resources where the risks are greatest to human health and the environment. Inspections are undertaken by an appropriately qualified and EPA registered inspector.

All areas of the country are liable to inspection. Both registered and un-registered on-site systems are liable to inspection. Householders should not allow any person to enter their property to examine their DWWTS unless they have received prior notification in writing from their local authority that their system is to be inspected. Any person claiming to be from a local authority should be asked for official identification.

More information on domestic wastewater treatment systems is available at the following link:

http://www.epa.ie/water/wastewater

 

Will financial assistance be available?

Provision was made in the Rural Water Programme 2013 for a grant scheme to provide financial assistance to those households whose domestic wastewater treatment systems were deemed, following inspection under the Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012, to require remediation or upgrading.

The level of grant available is dependent on the income of the household, as per the table below.

 

Household Income

% Costs Available

Maximum Grant

Up to €50,000

80%

€4,000

€50,001 - €75,000

50%

€2,500

 

 

 

 

Important Note

The grant assistance is only available to householders who had registered their system prior to February 1st 2013.



Registration, Fee and Liability

How much is the registration fee?

The registration fee is set at €50. There is no re-registeration fee. 

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  or 00353-1-5242274 (10.00 -- 12.00).

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 8.

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 must register as soon as possible after the system is installed. 

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.

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 and Eircode, for correspondence purposes,

- the address and Eircode 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.

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 8.

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 8, 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?

The Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN) is a unique 11 digit number assigned to every property connected to an electricity supply. 

Use of the number eliminates the possibility of confusing one property with another. It may help you to confirm that the domestic waste water treatment system serving your particular property is in fact registered.  In the absence of an individual identifier, it may not be possible to differentiate between individual properties with similar addresses.

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?

Yes.

I own a property that is connected to a septic tank, but it is unoccupied. Does it need to be registered?

Yes.

How long does my certificate of registration last?

Your certificate of registration is valid indefinitely. The registration is intended to identify only the ownership and location of domestic wastewater treatment systems.   

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, the CSO and the EPA. Your personal information will not be shared with any other public or private body. The LGMA process registration data on behalf of the local authorities.   A privacy statement can be viewed at http://www.protectourwater.ie/Privacy.aspx.

There is more than one MPRN for my property, which one should I use ?

Some properties may have more than one MPRN.  For example, where a “granny flat” or a pump house for a well has its own electricity supply.  In such cases, the MPRN to be entered is the one which applies to the main residence.

I represent an owner of multiple properties (for example, a local authority, business or trust) – is there a facility for me to register all properties together?

Details of each individual property must be provided, either by adding properties through the on-line system or by submitting separate application forms.

What is a Water Services Authority?

These are local authorities, i.e. the County and City Councils.



Payment Online

Why is a security question required?

The security question (and  your answer) provides you with a second level of security.  Protect Our Water protects accounts from unauthorised access and will require verification of your account information, such as First Name, Last Name and your response to the security question. If you require technical support, or have questions about your account, a Protect Our Water Support Team member will ask you to provide the answer to the security question - this must match the answer provided during registration.

My Computer crashed while I was registering – what do I do?

On the Protect Our Water Registrations and/or Receipt page you can check whether your registration and/or payment transactions were successful.

If you are unable to do this or if you have any technical difficulties please contact Protect Our Water support at support@protectourwater.ie

What is the procedure for online payments?

When you enter registration www.protectourwater.ie you will have the following two options to register and pay the fee: 

New Customer

If you are a new customer please click the “Create Account” button. You will be brought through a step by step process for creating your account, registering your property and paying the fee. 

An Account Reference Code will be generated for you. Your Account Reference Code is a unique number for your account. It will be displayed on screen and you should take note of it for future use. It will also appear on your payment receipt.

If you provide your email address in the registration process, your account reference code will be emailed to you (please check your email settings to ensure that you receive this notification i.e. that it is not recognised as spam/trash). 

This Account Reference Code and Password can be used in any future interaction with the Protect Our Water. If you experience any difficulties accessing these codes please contact the Protect Our Water Support Centre, (10.00 -- 12.00), at 1890 800 800 or 00353-1-5242274 to obtain your account reference number or email support@protectourwater.ie  .

Existing customer

If you are an existing customer please click the “Login” button. Please note that you will require your Account Reference Code and Password.

I've lost my Account Reference Code, what do I do?

If you are an existing customer and you have forgotten your Account Reference Code please click the "Lost Reference" button on the Login screen.  You will be prompted to enter password and email address. Once you have clicked the “Send” button you will receive your Account Reference Code by email.

I've forgotten my Account Reference Code and the email address I supplied when I registered my account. What do I do?

You should contact the Protect Our Water Support Centre at 1890 800 800 or 00353-1-5242274, (10.00 -- 12.00), where you'll be asked a number of security questions (previously supplied by you) to validate your identity. If validation is successful, your email address will be confirmed to you and your account reference code will be emailed to you.

How do I apply for a refund?

If you consider that you are due a refund of a registration fee paid, please submit your application for a refund, stating the reason for your claim to:

Protect Our Water Support Centre, PO BOX 12204, Dublin 8.

You can telephone, (10.00 -- 12.00),  LoCall 1890 800 800 or 00353-1-5242274 for further information.



Forms

Downloadable Forms

 



Information Leaflets

Information Leaflets

What you need to know about your septic tank

What to expect from a septic tank inspection

Is your well at risk from your septic tank?

The EPA contains a lot of information for householders at the following link: 

www.epa.ie

Wastewater systems for building a house: 

 http://www.epa.ie/pubs/advice/water/wastewater/wastewatersystemsforbuildingahouse.html 

??http://www.epa.ie/pubs/advice/water/wastewater/wastewatersystemsforbuildingahouse.html