Domestic Wastewater System Registration FAQ’s
The Legislation and General Information
What is the Domestic Wastewater Treatment Systems Registration System?
The purpose of the registration and inspection system for domestic wastewater treatment systems, introduced under the Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012, is to protect ground and surface water quality (particularly drinking water sources) from the risks posed by malfunctioning systems. All owners of premises connected to a domestic wastewater treatment system are required to register their systems.
Who has to register under the legislation?
All owners of domestic wastewater treatment systems are required to register their systems with the water services authority in whose functional area the systems are located. However, owners of properties connected to larger on-site systems which discharge in excess of 5 cubic metres per day do not need to register. Such systems, which serve sports clubs, pubs, hotels, guesthouses and other businesses require a licence from the relevant local authority under Section 4 of the Water Pollution Act 1997.
What are the exemptions from having to register and pay the fee?
There are no exemptions. All owners of premises connected to domestic waste water treatment systems must register their system. This includes owners of properties which are let, whether private landlords or local authorities etc. and employers who provide living accommodation to employees.
Where an owner is unable to register, for example due to physical or mental incapacity, registration on their behalf should be made by the next-of-kin, legal representative or other authorised or appropriate person.
What is a domestic wastewater treatment system?
Domestic wastewater treatment systems include all septic tanks, waste water tanks and treatment systems receiving, storing, treating or disposing of domestic waste water. It also includes all fittings and percolation areas associated with such tanks and systems and drains used to discharge waste water from a premises, whether or not a receiving tank is present.
Is my waste water treatment system going to be inspected?
The Environmental Protection Agency is developing a National Inspection Plan. The Agency will use a risk-based approach in developing the plan. No decisions have been made regarding the numbers or locations of inspections to be carried out, or the risk-based criteria to be used when targeting those inspections.
Inspections under the new legislation will not commence until 2013 and the commencement of inspections will be publicised in the national and local media. You should take care not to allow uninvited persons, or persons claiming to be septic tank inspectors, to enter onto your property in advance of the launch of inspections. You will be formally notified by your local authority if your domestic waste water treatment system is to be inspected. Inspectors will be required to carry identification and you should ask for this to be presented to you.
Where can I find out more information about the legislation and inspections?
Further information on the legislation and the inspection system is available at :
The Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012
The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government website:
The EPA Website
Have you Completed a Septic Tank System Check? (PDF) - 1,667 kbs
Registration, Fees and Liability
How much is the registration fee?
The registration fee is set at €5 for the first three months of the registration period and €50 thereafter.
When do I have to register and pay the fee?
You have until 01/02/2013 to register and pay the fee.
How long does my certificate of registration last?
Your certificate of registration is valid for five years and the date of expiry will appear on the certificate. Re-registration after five years is necessary as the first registration is intended to identify only the ownership and location of domestic waste water treatment systems. It is expected that over the coming years, public information campaigns will help you learn more about your system and you will be better placed to provide more information regarding it when you re-register. There will be no fee payable for second or subsequent registrations
How do I register and pay the registration fee?
- Online - www.protectourwater.ie - by credit card or debit card.
- By Post:
Septic Tank Registration Form (PDF)
- 867 kbs
and from City and County Councils, Libraries, Citizen Information Centres or by telephoning (Lo Call) 1890 800 800.
Payment can be made by cheque, postal order or bank draft made payable to “Protect Our Water". Send your form with payment to: Protect Our Water, P.O Box 12204, Dublin 7.
- Local Authority Offices: Payment by credit or debit card or by cheque, postal order, bank draft or cash can be made in your City or County Council office (no administration fee will be charged by the Council for this).
Who is collecting the Registration Fee?
The registration fee is being collected centrally by the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) on a shared service basis on behalf of the water services authorities. Payment can also be made direct to your local authority.
What happens if I don't register?
If you don’t register your system by the 1st February, 2013, you are committing an offence. Local authorities will be responsible for following-up cases of non-compliance. The maximum penalty for an individual who commits an offence under the legislation is a fine of €5,000.
What will the registration fees used for?
The registration fees are intended to cover the costs to the water services authorities of administering the registration system and of managing the risk-based inspections to be carried out.
What details do I require to register and pay?
You will be asked for the following information when registering :
- your name,
- your email address (if registering online)
- your address for correspondence purposes,
- the address of the property connected to a domestic waste water treatment system (if different to your correspondence address),
- credit or debit card details for payment.
If registering online, you will also be asked to create a password so that you can access your account in the future. These details must be provided or you will be unable to complete the registration process.
You will also be asked for information such as your telephone number and the Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN) for the property connected to the domestic waste water treatment system.
Why is the MPRN requested?
The Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN) is a unique number assigned to every property connected to an electricity supply. Use of the number eliminates the possibility of confusing one property with another. It may help you to confirm that the domestic waste water treatment system serving your particular property is in fact registered. In the absence of an individual identifier, it may not be possible to differentiate between individual properties with similar addresses.
There is more than one MPRN for my property, which one should I use?
Some properties may have more than one MPRN. For example, where a “granny flat” or a pump house for a well has its own electricity supply. In such cases, the MPRN to be entered is the one which applies to the main residence.
Can I register and pay for more than one property?
Yes, you can register and pay the appropriate fees for multiple properties, both online and by submitting the relevant forms with the appropriate payment to:
Protect Our Water, PO BOX 12204, Dublin 7.
Will I receive a payment receipt?
You can print off your receipt from the online system when you complete the registration and payment process or a receipt will be sent to your email address.
If you submit an application form and payment to Protect Our Water, PO BOX 12204, Dublin 7, you will receive a printed receipt in the post.
If you register and pay at a local authority office you will receive a receipt there.
Please retain your receipt.
A Certificate of Registration will be issued to you (by post) when your registration fee is processed.
What will the information on the register be used for?
Access to the information held on the register will be restricted to the local authorities and the EPA. Your personal information will not be shared with any other public or private body. A privacy statement can be viewed at www.ProtectOurWater.ie
What happens if I sell or transfer ownership of my property?
You will require a Certificate of Registration when selling/transferring ownership of a property. This certificate confirms that the domestic waste water treatment system serving the property is registered. The new owner is responsible for updating the ownership details on the register.
What is the position where a sole owner of a property dies?
Where a person who is the sole owner of a property dies, no action is necessary until the execution of the will or administration of the estate is complete and the property passes to the beneficiary. The beneficiary will then be responsible for updating the register.
I own a mobile home that is connected to a septic tank. Does it need to be registered?
Yes – all residential premises, including buildings, caravans and mobile homes or other structures connected to a domestic wastewater treatment system must be registered.
I own a property that is connected to a septic tank, but it is unoccupied. Does it need to be registered?
Who has to register and pay the fee where a property is jointly owned?
The registration requirement falls on all co-owners but registration and payment can be made by any one co-owner.
If a property was purchased under the Shared Ownership Scheme, does it have to be registered?
I represent an owner of multiple properties (for example, a local authority, business or trust) – is there a facility for me to register all properties together?
Details of each individual property must be provided, either by adding properties through the on-line system or by submitting separate application forms.
Why is a security question required?
The security question (and your answer) provides you with a second level of security. The Protect Our Water Registration System protects accounts from unauthorised access and will require verification of your account information, such as First Name, Last Name and your response to the security question. If you require technical support, or have questions about your account, a Protect Our Water Support Team member will ask you to provide an answer to the security question – this must match the answer provided during registration.
What is the procedure for online payments?
When you enter www.protectourwater.ie you will have the following two options to register and pay the fee:
If you are a new customer please click the “Create Account” button. You will be brought through a step by step process for creating your password, registering your property and paying the charge(s).
An Account Reference Code will be generated for you. Your Account Reference Code is a unique number for your account. It will be displayed on screen and you should take note of it for future use. It will also appear on your payment receipt.
If you provide your email address in the registration process, your account reference code will be emailed to you (please check your email settings to ensure that you receive this notification, i.e. that it is not treated as spam or trash).
The Account Reference Code and Password can be used in any future interaction with Protect Our Water. If you experience any difficulties accessing these codes please contact the Protect Our Water Bureau Support Centre at 1890 800 800 to obtain your account reference number. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are an existing customer please click the “Login” button. Please note that you will require your Account Reference Code and Password to access your account.
I've lost my Account Reference Code, what do I do?
If you are an existing customer and you have forgotten your Account Reference Code please click the "Lost Reference" button on the Login screen. You will be prompted to enter your email address. Once you have clicked the “Send” button you will receive your Account Reference Code by email.
I've forgotten my Account Reference Code and the email address I supplied when I registered my account. What do I do?
You should contact the Protect Our Water Support Centre at 1890-800800. In order to confirm your identity, you will be asked a number of questions regarding information provided by you when you registered. If your identity is confirmed, your account reference code and email address will be provided to you.
How do I apply for a refund?
If you consider that you are due a refund of a registration fee paid, please submit your application for a refund, stating the reason for your claim to: Protect Our Water, PO BOX 12204, Dublin 7. You can telephone LoCall 1890 800 800 for further information.
The form for written applications can be downloaded from ProtectOurWater.ie