MORE than 400,000 households will have to register their septic tanks by February 1 next or face the prospect of being fined up to €5,000.
The Government today announced new rules on septic tanks which will oblige homeowners to make sure they are working properly and not polluting water.
An inspection regime will begin next year, Environment Minister Phil Hogan said, adding it would cost households €5 to register their tank up to September 28 next, after which it would increase to €50.
There will be no charge for inspections.
The inspection regime is being introduced after the European Court of Justice ruled that Ireland was not doing enough to protect drinking water sources.
Mr Hogan said that in a small number of cases, septic tanks might have to be upgraded. Some financial assistance might be available, he added.
Registration will last for five years, and there will be no fee for second or subsequent registrations.
There are many things that could block a stormwater drain. But a wombat?
Imagine the surprise on the faces of the people at the Launceston City Council when they stumbled across a furry critter while viewing video from a stormwater pipe survey recently.
The shy little squatter was discovered by engineering development officer Sonia Smith, The Examiner reports.
Ms Smith said that one of the tasks council asked developers to undertake when building a new subdivision was to ensure all their stormwater pipes were working.
“They do that by conducting a remote video camera survey, and they then send the videos into us,” Ms Smith said.
“The equipment they use is basically a remote controlled camera, driven by a joystick.
“Sometimes in these videos you see the odd rat or spider, but this is the first time I’ve seen a wombat.”
Ms Smith said the wombat found his or her way into the pipe because it was open at one end.
“It’s a 300mm pipe, which is the smallest we use, but it appears that it might be a perfect size for a wombat burrow,” she said.
Ms Smith said the wombat will be respectfully nudged on to a new burrow and access to the pipe will be blocked.
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