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Rural Sewage Bill Moves Forward

The government has given its approval to proposed changes to a bill on waste water treatment in sparsely-populated areas. Under the modified version, rural residents with advanced age, long-term unemployment, illness, or other “social impediments” can be exempted from installing treatment equipment.

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The new rules requiring residents of rural areas to have proper sewage treatment equipment are to take effect next year. However, the requirements will not apply to elderly residents who have turned 68 by the beginning of the year.

Those with an acceptable social impediment can be released of the obligation to install treatment equipment for up to five years at a time.

An exemption is also possible if the home or cottage is located in an area in which a drainage system is planned.

The measure will now go before Parliament.

The proposed new waste water legislation has been sharply opposed in some quarters. One reason for anger is that rules for handling sewage are being applied to areas that are nowhere near waters that might suffer from pollution. Critics have also pointed to the high cost and uneven quality of treatment equipment.

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