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Written Answers - Water Services

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 755 No. 1

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 140.  Deputy Paul J. Connaughton Information on Paul Connaughton Zoom on Paul Connaughton  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  the guidelines that will govern the new septic tank inspection process; if any courses are available for persons wishing to start up a small business conducting the necessary remedial works to septic tanks or if there are any guidelines on the standards that will be enforced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7277/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan The Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012 provides that the Environmental Protection Agency will draw up a national plan for the inspection of on-site wastewater treatment systems and each local authority is responsible for implementing the plan in its functional area. Strict criteria regarding professional or technical qualifications and training and professional indemnity insurance requirements will have to be met by those seeking appointment as inspectors. My Department, in consultation with the Agency and local authorities, is developing a training course for inspectors and details will be published in due course.

[165]I intend to carry out a public consultation on draft performance standards for domestic wastewater treatment systems which are being finalised by my Department in consultation with the EPA. These standards will also include the minimum requirements for the maintenance and de-sludging of treatment systems. Full details of the draft standards and the consultation process will be published in the coming weeks.

 141.  Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  the way unemployed plumbers may access or apply for water metering jobs. [7308/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan The Government has indicated its intention to commence the installation of water meters in households connected to public water supplies later in 2012. This will facilitate moving to a charging system for domestic water users that is based on use above a free allowance as provided for in the Programme for Government.

It is envisaged that the metering programme will create up to 2,000 jobs per annum over a three-year period and that installation contracts will be awarded to a significant number of private contractors. The nature of the work will involve minor excavation and reinstatement works and will provide much needed employment in the construction sector. The types of jobs involved will cover the spectrum of skilled and unskilled positions and could include general operatives, plumbers, fitters, supervisors, contract managers, accounts and administration staff. However, the recruitment of any staff will be the responsibility of the private contractors. The procurement strategy for the metering programme is being finalised and no contracts have yet been awarded. Tendering and procurement processes will be managed in accordance with national and EU procurement guidelines.


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