AM keeps up pressure on septic tank issue


MONMOUTH Assembly Member Nick Ramsay says he will be keeping up the pressure on the Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, John Griffiths, AM, to stand by his assurance that well maintained septic tanks will not need to be upgraded.

Nick wrote to the Minister after receiving a number of letters regarding the registration of septic tanks, which is being undertaken by the Environment Agency. Constituents are concerned that they may be required to pay for perfectly efficient septic tanks to be replaced, and that officers “would be calling the shots” on the definition of “poorly maintained.” Another fear was that they could be required to pay £125 for an environmental permit if their waste water discharge systems were deemed to be in an environmentally sensitive location.

However, in his reply the Minister states that the aim of the septic registration system was not to bring about the replacement of existing well maintained private sewerage systems.

“The Welsh Government considers the registration of septic tanks and small sewage discharges is an important element in the management of diffuse water pollution in Wales,” he states.

“Inefficient or badly maintained septic tanks and systems have the potential to discharge sewage and cause pollution. While the pollution from a single, poorly maintained system may be relatively small, the cumulative impact of many such systems can be significant, especially in environmentally sensitive areas and areas of drinking water supplies.”

Commenting on the Minister’s response, Nick said: “I hope this will be of some reassurance to those constituents who have written to me on this issue. I know they have been extremely worried that they could be put to the expense of replacing systems which have worked perfectly efficiently for many years. I will do all I can to hold the Minister to the assurance he has given.”