Sinn Féin T.D Michael Colreavy has said that the passing of the Water Services Bill, without any standards

being agreed or published, is simply a knee jerk reaction to an EU Directive that is over 35 years old and

shows the repeated failures of previous Governments. The Water Services Bill in its current form is bad for

householders.Sinn Féin has listened to people’s concerns and we reflected those concerns in our contributions

to the debate. Unfortunately in a desperate measure to avoid real debate the government guillotined the debate

at every opportunity.

Speaking on the issue Michael said ” The act will criminalise rural householders all over Sligo and North Leitrim

if they fail to comply with unfair demands. This Government is failing to recognise that many households simply will

not be able to pay for upgrades. Sinn Féin fully supports the upgrading of septic tanks. We fully agree that ground

water and environment must be protected. Hundreds of millions of state money was invested in urban waste water systems

the same support must now be given to rural householders when improving their septic tanks.”

Under pressure from Sinn Féin Minister Hogan conceded that some grants will have to be made available to assist

householders in upgrading their septic tanks, he has also reduced the cost of an appeal from €200 to €20 and a 4

week consultation process will take place before any standards will be agreed. Deputy Colreavy said he will

continue to actively campaign to make sure septic tank standards are just and fair and that financial assistance will

be provided to those who need it.