On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems (Septic Tanks)

Joint NFGWS & EPA projects on community desludging of On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems (OSWTS)

Established in response to the finding from the first phase of the EPAs National Inspection Plan (2015-2017)* on OSWTS that poor management of such systems is a major issue to be addressed, phase one of a pilot project completed in County Louth confirmed that householders within the Zone of Contribution (ZOC) to the group water scheme source are positively disposed towards the regular desludging of their OSWTS where that is co-ordinated by the local GWS board of management/committee.  Completed ZOC delineation reports provided a valuable resource in facilitating the production of graphic leaflets that located OSWTS within the delineated catchment, as in this example from Carnane GWS, County Limerick.    

Phase two of the OSWTS pilot was completed with the assistance of EPA funding. One of the main objectives of Phase 2  was the further development of the delivery model, based on the conclusions and recommendations of the pilot project review report.  15 GWS participated in the project and two NFGWS staff were appointed as project co-ordinators. The project including door-to-doors surveys with householders in the catchment, Primary School visits and co-ordinated desludging of septic tanks on a bundled approach.

The project proved highly successful in providing a model for community-led desludging of OSWTS.  A short information video produced by the EPA supported the awareness-raising aspect of this project.  

A copy of the project report can be viewed here.

Copies of template documents developed during the project to assist schemes organising the desludging of OSWTS can be accessed here:

*A copy of the current EPA National Inspection Plan 2022-2026 can be viewed here.