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  1. THE IRISH GOVERNMENT has been asked to implement grant aid to cover the  cost of septic tank repairs and replacements, following the introduction of the septic tank inspection scheme next year.

    The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) made the statement in yesterdays pre-budget submission.

    ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin said rural dwellers must be treated the same as city dwellers “and this is the only way that can be achieved”.

    The submission points out that all urban households have full sewage treatment and disposal costs paid for “and recent evidence suggests that the cost per house in urban housing developments is actually more than the potential cost of a 100 per cent grant for rural households to upgrade septic tanks”.

    The septic tank registration scheme started in June, promoted by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan . A reduced €5 registration fee was available until the end of September but fewer than 40 per cent of septic tank owners availed of the lower rate. The fee is now €50.