Domestic Septic Tanks

Domestic Septic Tanks

Septic tank registration, guidelines for inspections, grant applications and information for owners

The Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012 provided for the introduction of a registration and national inspection system for domestic waste water treatment systems (septic tanks).

The key objectives are:

  • To enhance and protect public health and the environment which will, in turn, benefit rural dwellers in terms of a better quality of life and better quality water.
  • To protect our environment. This will also have positive economic benefits for the tourism, recreation, agricultural and food-producing sectors, all of which rely on clean water.

Information for Owners of Domestic Waste-Water Treatments Systems (DWWTS):

  • You need to know where your septic tank is located.
  • You need to operate and maintain the system so it is fit for purpose and fully operational.
  • The system can not pollute the environment by discharging/leaking waste anywhere it is not suppose to ie. into the ground or any water source.
  • Roof water or surface water run-off can not enter a domestic waste water treatment system.
  • The system should be de-sludged at intervals appropriate to the tank capacity and the number of persons resident in the premises connected to it or as recommended by the system’s manufacturer.

Guidelines on Inspections:

  • All such inspections in County Meath will be carried out by trained inspection staff from Meath County Council.
  • Dwellings due for inspection under the National Inspection Plan will be notified directly in writing by Meath County Council in advance of the inspection taking place. However, it is also advisable to seek proof of identity from any person seeking to carry out any inspection at your property.
  • The Act requires water services authorities to maintain a register of domestic waste water treatment systems in their functional areas.
  • Owners of domestic waste water treatment systems are required to ensure that their systems are on the register. Your registration will contribute to the protection of Ireland's ground and surface waters.
  • All septic tanks and other types of treatment and disposal systems for domestic waste water should have been registered not later than 1st February 2013.

Septic Tank Registration

The septic tank registration form can be downloaded below:

For more information and to Register online go to

Further information also available at:

Grant Applications for Septic Tanks

S.I. No. 222 of 2013 has now been revised with the publication of the Housing (Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems (DWWTS) Financial Assistance) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 184 of 2020).

The revised Regulations provide that, subject to all eligibility criteria being met, Meath 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 by a Meath County Council Inspector, to require such works.

The new terms and conditions include:

  1. 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 €5,000, 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. ;


  • 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:

  • The treatment system 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
  • 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.