Registration of Domestic Waste Water Systems (Including septic tanks) Commences this week

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By protecting our water, we protect our environment, our health and our jobs

From Tuesday 26th June 2012 owners of domestic waste water treatment systems within the City Council area will be required to register their systems with Dublin City Council. The registration process will involve a once off fee of €50. Owners need to renew their registration every five years, at no cost.

Having a register of domestic water treatment systems and septic tanks enables inspections to check that systems are working properly and safely so that ground and surface water quality (particularly drinking water sources) can be protected from the risks posed by malfunctioning systems. This initiative will ultimately enhance and protect public health and the environment.

How to register?

You can register and pay on-line as follows:

  • Online at

  • In person at Dublin City Council’s Customer Services Centre Ground Floor, Block 3, Civic Offices, WoodQuay, Dublin 8 between the hours of 9.00 am and 5.00pm (Monday to Friday).  Payment can be made by cash, cheque, money order or debit / credit card:-

  • By post - application forms can be collected at the above local authority offices, in public libraries and Citizens Information Centres and sent by post with the registration fee to Protect our Water, PO Box 12204, Dublin 7.  Please DO NOT send cash by post.


The water services (amendment) act 2012 introduces a new registration and inspection system for septic tanks and other domestic waste water treatment systems in Ireland. 

Registration will be valid for five years and there will be no charge for re-registration. It is intended that the revenue raised will be used by the water services authorities to manage the registers and to meet the cost of having inspections carried out.  There will be no inspection charges for  households. All owners of premises connected to a domestic wastewater treatment system are required to register their systems by 1 February 2013.

How to tell if there is a problem with your system?

Some of the signs that your system may not be operating correctly are:

  • There are foul odours around the system or the percolation area;
  • There is an excessive amount of vegetation growing in the percolation area;
  • The area around the system or percolation area is soggy;
  • Your drains or toilets are running slowly or overflowing.


It will be a matter for the EPA to determine the level of inspections that will be required. However, as it is to be a risk-based scheme, not every system will be inspected.  In developing the inspection plan, the EPA will consider many factors, including proximity to rivers, lakes and streams (particularly drinking water sources). 

Important message regarding inspections

Inspections under the new system commenced in 2013.  People should take care not to allow uninvited persons, or persons claiming to be inspectors, to enter onto their property in advance of the launch of inspections. People will be formally notified by their local authority if their domestic waste water treatment system is to be inspected.  Inspectors will be required to carry identification and you should ask for this to be presented to you.