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I am concerned that my neighbours’ domestic waste water treatment system (DWWTS) is contaminating my well. What can be done about this?
In the first instance, you are advised to contact the local authority. In relation to the concern that the DWWTS is potentially contaminating the well or has a health effect, advice should be sought from the environment section and the local Environmental Health Officer (EHO).
In addition to the above, Section 70 of the Water Services Act 2007 (Water Services Act 2007) sets out the general duties of an owner of a DWWTS. It provides that the local authority or 'any other person affected by the failure...' may complain to the District Court if there is a failure by the owner of the domestic waste water treatment system (DWWTS) to comply with the general duties set out. See provisions below in subsection 6 and 7.
“(6) A water services authority or any person affected by a failure, or alleged failure of a third party to comply with a duty of care provided for under this section may complain to the District Court, and the Court may order the third party to take the measures necessary to effect a cessation of the activity which is the subject of the complaint, or to take specified measures to effect compliance with their obligations under this section.
(7) Before a complaint is made to the District Court under subsection (6), the water services authority or the person concerned, as the case may be, shall serve a notice in the prescribed form of the intention to make such a complaint, within such time as may be specified in the notice, on the said third party.”
The Water Services Act was amended in 2012 (Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012) and provides additional requirements on the owner of DWWTS in terms of performance of their systems. New regulations (Performance Standards S.I. 223 of 2012) have been published in relation to the operation and maintenance of DWWTS.
How to make an environmental complaint.
It is important to note that a complaint will not be investigated under the Water Services Act, 2007 (as amended) but under the Water Pollution Acts. Therefore a DWWTS (septic tank or treatment system) inspected on foot of a complaint will NOT be entitled to apply for a grant.
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