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DAERA launches digital septic tank service for Northern Ireland


Mark Say Managing Editor


Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has launched a new online service for domestic septic tank consents.

Edwin Poots showing service on laptop

Environment Minister Edwin Poots (pictured) announced the move, saying that rural householders will now be able to apply for a new consent, transfer ownership or amend an existing one.

The service has been developed by DAERA’s Digital Services Division and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) Water Regulation Team.

It is available through the DAERA website and requires a Government Gateway user name and password.

The system includes provision for uploading maps and supporting documents.

Moving away from paper

Poots said: “If you live in a remote part of Northern Ireland, you and your neighbours are likely to have a septic tank or package treatment plant to manage wastewater and sewage from your property and would have applied for consent via a paper application form.

“My department processes close to 300 consent applications each month and I am delighted to see the positive forward thinking and impact of digital transformation on this service. The fully integrated process will allow you to apply easily for a discharge consent, make the payment and allow you to track the progress of your application.

“Given the restrictions on some activities during the Covid-19 pandemic, increasing access to online services, such as this, is even more critical to ensure my department can continue to deliver for the people of Northern Ireland. Delivery of this service to customers in a more efficient and straightforward way is a great step forward.”

Septic tank systems require a consent to discharge from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency Water Regulation Team to make sure the discharge is not going to cause pollution or public health issues.

Image from DAERA

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