Septic tank owners told they must clean up their act
Almost half of all septic tanks tested last year failed safe standards with officials warning of a risk to drinking water supplies.
Figures published by the Environmental Protection Agency show 49 per cent of the tanks inspected in 2016 were not in compliance, compared with 45 per cent in 2015.
Most failed because of improper operation and maintenance. A quarter of the failed cases involved owners not removing a build-up of sludge.
The EPA said the high failure rate posed a potential health risk.
The agency inspected 299 sites that had both septic tanks and their own private drinking water wells. Just over half, 51 per cent, were not in compliance with safe standards.
Source: The Times