Environmental Issues

Septic Tank Information and Advice

Water Quality Management

The 2021 Code of Practice for Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems (Population Equivalent ≤ 10) applies to site assessments and subsequent installations carried out on or after the 7 June 2021.

  • The Code of Practice establishes an overall framework of best practice in relation to the development of domestic waste water treatment systems, in unsewered rural areas, for protection of our environment and specifically water quality and human health.
  • The Code covers site assessment, installation, and operation of septic tanks and other domestic waste water treatment systems. The building regulations and planning control system require compliance with it. It is therefore of interest to prospective rural dwellers, consultants/engineers, planners and others involved in the domestic waste water treatment sector. 

Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems (Septic Tanks) must be registered.

Owners of domestic wastewater treatment systems or septic tanks in Fingal can register their system using their Eircode (www.eircode.ie):

  • Online at www.protectourwater.ie
  • You can telephone, (10.00am - 2.00pm), 01-6438484  for further information.

There is no requirement to re-register as your existing certificate remains valid. New owners of property must update their details on this certificate. 

A grant scheme is available to provide financial assistance to households whose DWWTS were deemed, following inspection under the Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012, to require remediation or upgrading.  You cannot request an inspection.  Inspections are carried out under the EPA’s National Inspection Plan. The Plan for 2022-2026 is available at this link:- https://www.epa.ie/environment-and-you/waste-water/



The Domestic Waste Water Treatment System (DWWTS) grant scheme has been revised with the publication of the following new regulations, which come into effect from 1st January, 2024;

The revised Regulations provide that, subject to all eligibility criteria being met, Fingal County Council may pay a grant to a person for the carrying out of remediation, repair or upgrading works to, or replacement of a DWWTS that is deemed, following an inspection, to require such works.

The new terms and conditions include:

  1. The removal of the requirement to comply with the prescribed registration date as stated in the Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems (Registration) Regulations 2012 (S.I.220/2012), as amended by the Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems (Registration)(Amendment) Regulations 2013 (S.I. 180/2013);
  2. The removal of the means test requirement; and,
  3. The introduction of a uniform grant rate of 85% of the eligible costs of remediation, repair or upgrading works, or replacement of any such system or €12,000, whichever is the lower.

Grants are available under the following schemes:

  • Grants for DWWTS (National Inspection Plan)
  • Grants for DWWTS (Prioritised Areas for Action under the RBMP)
  • Grants for DWWTS (High Status Objective Catchment Areas under the RBMP)

 However, there are restrictions on eligibility under each scheme. 

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a National Inspection Plan to help identify domestic waste water treatment systems that are not meeting the expected standard. The treatment system must have been inspected under this inspection plan and an advisory notice issued by the local authority under the Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012.  or
  • The treatment system serves a house that is situated in a Prioritised Area for Action in accordance with the River Basin Management Plan 2018-2021, and a letter has been issued by the Local Authority Waters Programme Office on behalf of the relevant local authority, confirming eligibility to apply.


In all of the above grant schemes the following criteria apply:

  • All septic tanks and other types of treatment and disposal systems for domestic waste water requiring attention must have been registered by the owner by 1st February 2013, or in the case of treatment systems constructed or installed after this date registration must have been completed within 90 days of connection (ref. Regulation 3 of the Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems (Registration) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 (No. 180 of 2013)). If you need to check if you are registered email [email protected] with your name, address and eircode (check your eircode on www.eircode.ie).  Please note grants are not payable where the septic tank has not been registered. Grants are not payable where septic tanks have not been registered.  Also we do not accept requests for septic tank inspections from homeowners.
  • Grants will not be paid towards the normal costs of ensuring a system is working properly e.g. maintaining, servicing or de-sludging a domestic waste water treatment system. 
  • “approved cost” in relation to remediation, repair or upgrading works to a domestic waste water treatment system, or the replacement of such system, means the cost estimated by the housing authority to be the reasonable cost of carrying out the works or the replacement, or the actual cost of carrying out the works or the replacement, whichever is the lesser;

If you require further information or require one of the application forms or have a query on a property (provide an Eircode with the address for your permanent residence and proof of registration of the treatment system) and send email to [email protected]


Please note:  An inspection on foot of a water pollution complaint will be dealt with as normal.  Section 3 of the Local Government, (Water Pollution) Act, 1977 as amended by the Local Government, (Water Pollution) Amendment, Act, 1990 prohibits the entry of polluting matters to waters.  Failure by a homeowner to properly maintain a domestic wastewater system will make an applicant ineligible for this grant.