Around 500,000 households, in Ireland, own a domestic wastewater system (DWWTS) these include septic tanks and packaged systems. About 137,000 of these, also have a private well for drinking water. A quarter of wastewater systems (25%) inspected failed inspections by local authorities. This was because of poor operation and poor maintenance. Poorly maintained wastewater systems may affect your drinking water, especially from private wells and our local rivers.

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage have introduced a new grant scheme for faulty septic tank systems that may affect water quality.
You may be eligible for this grant in one of three ways:

  1. If an inspection by the Local Authority (LA) under the National Inspection Plan finds that there are problems with your wastewater system. The LA will inform you at the time of inspection of what you have to do next
  2. If you live in a High Status Objective Catchment Area. These are areas where the water quality is excellent and needs protection or is failing to meet excellent quality and requires restoration. You can check if you are in one of these areas by inputting your EIRCODE in a map at this link. You can apply directly to your Local Authority for the grant.
  3. If LAWPRO catchment scientists identify that there is a water quality issue in a nearby river and we believe defective DWWTSs may cause or make the problem worse, we may provide you with a letter advising you what to do next.

The grant is not means tested and covers 85% of eligible and pre-approved works (up to a maximum of €5,000).
More grant details are available from the Department of Housing Local Government and Heritage

Your local authority manages the grant scheme on behalf of the Department, and LAWPRO supports them. If you require information or wish to enquire about an application, please contact your Local Authority Rural Water Section.
To find out more about how domestic wastewater treatment systems work or to check if your system is working, please go to the EPA Website at this link. Waste Water – Environmental Protection Agency (