Septic Tank Scandal – Irelands Wastewatergate

BioCycle have participated at European and National level for decades on the drafting of standards for the supply of septic tanks and wastewater treatment products.

Our aim was to achieve a standard where homeowners would have a safe, sustainable and economically operated system that could be certified fit for purpose to meet Health, Safety, Sale of Goods and Supply of Services, Consumer Protection Laws and be insurable.

Our efforts to change the current system which makes the consumer solely liable for environmental pollution or risk to public health and facilitates designers, manufacturers, installing contractors or others in the supply chain in evading liability have been repeatedly blocked by a commercial lobby, supported by the Department officials.

Despite all the evidence of defective/unsafe systems leading to ground and drinking water pollution and fines from the European Court, the Department refuses to set down a legally enforceable standard for design, treatment performance and durability for a septic tank system or wastewater treatment systems.

It is an unfortunate fact that while a septic tank or treatment system might –

  • Meet the requirements of I.S. EN 12566
  • Be installed as required by EPA 2009
  • Comply with the proposed new SR66 Document covering septic tanks and treatment systems

The consumer/homeowner is totally exposed because compliance with the above provides no guarantee of-

  • Fitness for purpose
  • Protection in any legal action resulting from faulty design, manufacturer or installation.
  • Compliance with Health, Safety, Sale of Goods…, Consumer Protection Laws etc.


The EPA states that their document is purely for guidance and also advises consumers/homeowners to check with suppliers for compliance with Consumer Protection Laws. Nevertheless, homeowners are compelled to comply strictly with the document.

The Department, who has made the consumer/homeowner solely liable for environmental pollution or any public health risk etc, continues to refuse to include basic consumer protection measures in the proposed new SR 66 regulation.

This policy to satisfy commercial lobby groups mean that the industry can continue to legitimately supply defective, unsafe, uninsurable and unfit for purpose systems to uninformed and unsuspecting consumers.

Over many years bioCycle has made repeated submissions to Ministers, Government officials, Local Authorities, the NSAI and others on this unethical policy.

Despite this attitude of official neglect, bioCycle continues to guarantee that where its system is installed in accordance with our requirements our professional staff will certify fitness for purpose, and bioCycle will assume responsibility and liability for the complete installation.

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