Grants for Septic Tanks

The unpopular “Septic Tank Charge”  was supposed to be paid no later than February 1st 2013 .
To try and encourage more people to register – the government announced a grant scheme . If homeowners didn’t register before the deadline they could lose out on potential future remediation grants.

For houses that have a treatment system constructed or installed after 1 February 2013 ;  –  the owners should register their systems within 90 days of the connection of the premises to the treatment system.

It is estimated that about 400,000 houses have their own wastewater treatment system or septic tank.

Read more about Septic Tank Registration Here .

Septic Tank Grants

New Rules in 2024:

Prior to January 2024 , means tested grants of up to €5,000 were available to repair, upgrade or replace a septic tank provided it was registered before 1 February 2013.

The maximum grant was increased to €12,000 on Jan 1st 2024 and the means test was removed.

There used to be a condition of eligibility that an existing system older than Feb 1st 2013 – must have been registered on or before the 1st of  February 2013. This rule was changed in 2024 – so people can now get the grant even if they hadn’t registered their septic tank by 1 February 2013.

The grant scheme is administered by the local authorities on behalf of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The correct application from may be obtained from your local authority

Who Can Qualify for A Septic Tank Grant?

The grant scheme provides financial assistance to households whose septic tanks or other  waste water treatment system, require remedial work or  upgrading following an inspection.

The work required on the Septic Tank must arise directly from an inspection carried out under
the National Inspection Plan, and the subsequent issue of an Advisory Notice to the
householder by the local authority.

The house must not be currently under construction or constructed within the last 7 years

The level of grant available is 85% of the approved cost of the works, subject to a maximum of €12,000.

The grant was means-tested before 2024 – but that is no longer the case. Household income does not affect the grant amount.

For the purposes of this grant scheme, approved cost means the actual cost or the costs estimated by the local authority to be the reasonable costs of carrying out such works, whichever is the lesser.

Between 2014 and 2017 there was about €748,000 paid out in grants for septic tanks.

Only a very small percentage of systems are inspected  -in high-risk areas.

The grant system is designed to portray that there is a sufficient mechanism in place to satisfy EU water quality legislation – basically, by giving out less than 220 grants per year in a country with just over 500,000 domestic septic systems. The grant system fulfils the government’s legal obligations under the relevant EU water qua

The grant scheme could result in more pollution because people with old septic tanks will probably do no repairs to them in the hope of failing an inspection and getting a grant.

10 thoughts on “Grants for Septic Tanks

  1. Because our Septic Tank was very poor quality and we have had so much trouble with it for the past 5 years (having to be emptied every few weeks – the rainwater was running into it filling it up) we went ahead last week 12/12/2012 and had a new one fitted at the cost of €4,200. Now that there is a mention of a grant I hope we can claim retrospectively. Advice on this please.

    • Anna – I don’t think there will be much chance of you getting this grant. It only applies to those that have failed an inspection.

      • It looks like we won’t be able to retrospectively get the grant for our tank that we put in on 12th December (just before the grant was confirmed). Its all a big ploy I think to get people to register (possibly the grants will never materialise).
        I will contintue to try as we had no option but to book the new tank for 1st December (the old one failed to work) and the new one was completed on 12th December. \ill keep you informed of what happens.!!!!

  2. I live outside the EU most of the year but I still have a home in Ireland. I wonder will I be eligible for the grant if my 35 year old septic wont meet the standard. How can i prove that my income if is. I don’t work and am supported by my non EU wife and family.

  3. Does any body have an idea of the average costs of a new sceptic tank including installing and other works. I would think that it would cost much more than .

    • Ray – A new waste treatment system could cost anything from €2k to €7k – plus digging ,percolation area , pipes etc.
      The max €4k grant is probably not going to cover 80% of the full cost of a full new system in most cases – but it is better than no grant at all.
      Homeowners should expect to have to repair and renew items in their property as time goes on – nothing lasts forever !

  4. What happens if you fail inspection?
    Is there a fine? How long do you get to resolve, before a reinspection?
    What happens if you fail a second, or third time etc ?

  5. I want to disconnect my septic tank and connect to mains sewage which has been newly installed on my road, is there a grant available to carry out the works to connect to mains?

  6. we have a holiday home in Donegal and live in the north of Ireland will we be eligable for the grant or is it only for residents.

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