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Environment Minister Edwin Poots MLA has launched a new digital online service for domestic septic tank consents.

Rural householders will now be able to apply online for a new discharge consent, transfer ownership of a discharge consent or amend an existing consent. The online service through the DAERA website will remove the need for paper application forms and payment by cheque.

Launching the new online platform Minister Poots said: The consent to discharge process is vital in enabling NIEA to protect our waterways and vulnerable habitats by regulating the location and performance of private treatment systems, where connection to the mains sewerage system is not possible.

“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.”

The Domestic Consent Application system is available on the DAERA website at: www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/regulating-water-discharges

To use the Domestic Consent application process you will need a user name and password for the Government Gateway, which can be generated when you first logon. The system includes provision for up-loading maps and supporting documents e.g. treatment system certification.