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Political stink over septic tanks "exaggerated" 04.02.15

RECENT inspections of septic tanks by the Environmental Protection Agency reveal that their threat to the country’s drinking water has been "substantially exaggerated", MEP Marian Harkin has claimed.
She said the threat posed by domestic septic tanks "paled in significance" when compared with "the damage being caused by 38 of Ireland’s largest sewage discharge systems that failed to meet treatment standard".
The North and West MEP welcomed figures showing that 52% of septic tanks considered to be a threat to the environment, had passed inspection.
“What this means is that, considering that the septic tank inspections are focused on those identified to be those most likely to fail, the pass rate is encouraging but not surprising," she said.
"These results, having regard to the EPA statement which indicated that many of the failures could be prevented by elementary actions such as de-sludging, revealed that the attempt to associate deficient septic tanks with the quality status of waters had been exaggerated."
Ms Harkin added: “This result, when taken in conjunction with the recent revelation by the EPA that 38 municipal sites including Dublin and Cork are not up to the standard required and that discharge of raw and inadequately treated sewage are damaging both drinking and sea waters, requires an immediate and effective investment programme to rectify this totally unacceptable situation." Meanwhile, the EPA figures show that more than half of Donegal septic tanks failed the council inspection - one of the highest failure rates in the country.
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