Irish Septic Tank Grants Explained – Updated for 2024 with Maps

Septic Tank Grants for 2024 Explained


As of 2024, there are 3 different types of septic tanks grant schemes in Ireland, all providing grant aid up to €12,000. The criteria for each septic tank grant are different as outlined below. It must be noted that each of the 3 grants - because of their cumbersome design - are out of reach of the vast majority of homeowners, so don't get your hopes up too high! Below is an outline of the current and upcoming septic tank grants available in Ireland.

The Main Points:

Before we look in detail at the types of grants available – let’s first look at what is required to qualify.


To qualify for a septic tank grant you must:


  1. Be in a designated area under the High-Status Objective Catchment Area 2018 to 2021. - See map below - Subject to conditions, green areas are eligible to apply for a grant.

OR

  1. Be in an Area for Action in accordance with the River Basin Management Plan 2018-2021 and receive a letter of grant eligibility from LAWPRO. (You cannot directly request an eligibility letter yourself. It is at LAWPRO's discretion who reveives a grant eligibility letter and canvassing will disqualify)

OR

  1. Have had your septic tank inspected by your local authority under the National Inspection Plan and subsequently been issued with an advisory notice. (You cannot invite an inspection upon yourself and canvassing will disqualify)

AND

  1. Have registered your septic tank with ProtectOurWater.ie before applying.

AND

  1. Submit a valid case for requiring the grant, detailed design and proposal for pre-approval - (This is completed by Sepcon as part of the overall package)

-----------------------------

The Irish Septic Tank Grant Lottery – The 2500 / 1 chance!

Unfortunately, by it's design - the septic tank grant system in Ireland is out of reach to almost all homeowners who require assistance to upgrade their septic tank.

Why?

The eligibility criteria - as set out on this page, makes it practically impossible for 99.5% homeowners who have a polluting septic tank to obtain a grant in Ireland. The grant system is designed to be highly restrictive by not allowing homeowners with a failing/polluting sewage system to take their own initiative to remediate their issue and receive a grant.

What’s the chances of getting a septic tank grant?

By the nature of the grant design - it is more of a lottery than an actual grant – breaking down the numbers, you have a 2500 / 1 or a 0.5% chance annually of getting a septic tank grant in Ireland!

Why is the septic tank grant system not open to those who actually need it?

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 governments legal obligations under the relevant EU water quality directives, but it does absolutely nothing for typical homeowners with failing and polluting sewage systems looking for grant assistance.

Will the septic tank grant system become less of a farce?

The current grant system has been in place since 2012, with the latest revision taking effect from January 2024. It is not a grant for the masses. There is no indication of Government opening grants to all homeowners with failing or polluting systems needing to take action, so unfortunately, it doesn't appear that it's going to improve any time soon.

Can I still check if I am one of the lucky ones that can get a grant?

Yes, absolutely. If you wish to confirm your grant eligibility, Sepcon will happily ascertain if you can receive a grant and assist in the application process to help ensure a smooth and stress-free process. The grant assessment service is provided at no charge. You can also contact your local authority directly to confirm your eligibility.

Latest on Septic Tank Grants for 2024 Explained


The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage announced they are to modify the septic tank grant from the 1st January 2024. The requirement to have the septic system registered before February 2013 is to be abolished and the maximum grant aid is to increase to €12,000, but don't get your hopes up too high. There will be strict limitations for eligibility for the new grant, which have not been fully announced to date. It will not be a free for all and will remain inaccessible the vast majority of rural households.

High Status Objective Catchment Area 2018 to 2021 <br><b> Areas marked in Green are eligible to apply<b>

High Status Objective Catchment Area 2018 to 2021
Areas marked in Green are eligible to apply

Do you have a Question?

Septic tank grant Ireland FAQ - what do I do next?

1How do I apply for a septic tank grant?
The grant is administered by your Local Authority, depending on the extent of the works required and the type of septic tank grant you may be eligible for, Sepcon will assist you in the application process, including the site assessment. This ensures a smooth, efficient and stress free process.
2Does Sepcon help me with getting a grant?
Yes, we will assist you in applying for a grant as part of our overall service.
3Can everyone get a grant?
Unfortunately not. There are 3 types of septic tank upgrade grant. Each of the 3 grants have individual criteria with 2 of them based on mapping of areas that are deemed by the EPA catchments section to be at an significant risk. Sepcon can also assess your eligibility for a grant.
4Why do I need to carry out a Site Assessment?
Site assessments (Percolation tests) are carried as part of a grant application to determine the size required for the percolation area. The soakage of the soil in every site varies. Some sites have good soakage and some are very poor.
Therefore a single solution can't be offered to everyone. It is crucial to carry out a percolation test in order to know how good your soil soaks and to determine the maximum height of the water table (in order to maintain relevant separations as per the EPA Code of Practice 2009).
A site assessment is also generally required in order to apply for a grant. Sepcon have a dedicated team that will assist in providing the relevant site assessment information and documents in order to lodge your planning application.
Contact us today to discuss your individual requirements.
5What is a Site Assessment and do I need one to get a grant?
Generally yes, you will need to have a site assessment (otherwise known as a percolation test). A site assessment is carried out to determine what type of sewage treatment system upgrade or replacement works will be required for your property. The site assessment provides us with the soakage value of the soil, what depth the water table or bed is present at and a number of other factors. With these results and the assistance of geological mapping we can provide you with the most suitable sewage system for your site.
6What is the difference between a Septic Tank and a Sewage Treatment Unit?
A septic tank normally consists of two chambers. The first chamber holds the solid waste and the second chamber holds the partially treated effluent. The effluent then enters the percolation area where further treatment takes place. Septic tanks are suitable for sites with a good soil soakage rate.
A sewage treatment unit normally consists of 3 or more chambers. The first chamber holds the solid waste, the second is where the effluent treatment takes place and the the third is the final settlement chamber. Treatment units are ideals for sites with poor soakage as the effluent quality is better upon discharge to the percolation area.