Septic Tank Inspections

A Septic Tank Inspection Regime was introduced in Ireland in 2012. The inspection scheme was introduced under the 2012 Water Services Amendment Act.  The aim of the inspections is to identify and remediate/replace the vast number of malfunctioning septic tank and wastewater treatment systems which are polluting our ground and surface water resources.

Will I be inspected?

Not every septic tank will be inspected. Inspections are allocated according to area risk-assessments, i.e. more inspections will be done where risk to health and the environment is higher and fewer where the risk is lower. Currently local authorities are carrying out 10 inspections per county per year. If you are selected for inspection, you will receive a letter from your local authority they will provide 10 days’ notice prior the inspection


What information will I need to provide?

  • You will need to have a copy registration certificate available for inspection.
  • You will need to know where your septic tank and percolation area are located.
  • You will need to have records of desludging and details of the contractor if you’ve had your system de-sludged recently.
  • Have any paperwork available relating to the design installation and maintenance records.


Under Irish Law the homeowner is responsible to ensure that their Wastewater Treatment system is properly designed, constructed, installed and maintained.

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What will happen during the inspection?

  • Inspector may look at your registration certificate and other paperwork.
  • Inspector will check manholes and pipework for leaks and that there isn’t an excess of sludge in the system.
  • Drains will be checked to ensure that wastewater and greywater are entering the system where they can be treated, and that roofwater and surfacewater are not entering the system.
  • The percolation area will be checked for signs of ponding, as well as nearby ditches and drains for discharge pipes and signs of pollution.
  • The system will be checked for odours and noise.

What happens if my systems fails the inspection?

If your systems fails the inspection you will get an advisory notice from the local authority, requiring you to improve the maintenance of your system or to upgrade or remediate it. You will receive a copy of a report with an Advisory Notice within 21 days of the inspection which will inform you that the system poses a risk to human health or the environment and inform you that it contravenes regulations. The notice will direct you to remedy the matters specified in the notice by a specified date.

If you have been issued with an advisory notice

contact bioCycle 1890 929 612 for free technical advice