EPA scientist Noel Byrne has called on septic tank owners to check their tanks to ensure they are operating properly and not posing a risk.
Following the publication of a new report on septic tank inspections, which revealed a 48% failure rate, Mr Byrne told RTÉ radio’s News at One that septic tanks should be tested annually.
A test costs just €65 he said and is worth it to ensure the safety of septic tank owners, their families and the environment.
He warned that homes with septic tanks very often also have their own water supply and if there is an issue with a septic tank it could have an impact on the water supply.
The reasons for the failure rate in septic tanks include construction issues and maintenance issues with many owners not carrying out regular inspections and cleanings.
“If you have a malfunctioning septic tank that poses a risk to health, your own, your family’s and the environment,” he added.
Local Authorities are doing their best, he said. Under the expanded grant scheme septic tank owners can avail of a grant up to €5,000 which is available without a means test.