Percolation testing

Offaly County Council no longer completes Site Suitability Assessments for On-site Wastewater Treatment (Percolation Testing).

A Site Suitability Assessment is a requirement of the planning application process. The assessment must be carried out by a suitably qualified assessor, chosen by the applicants themselves. 

A suitably qualified assessor is defined as a person who has completed the Quality & Qualifications/FETAC Certificate in Site Suitability Assessments for On-site Wastewater Management and holds a professional indemnity of at least €1,000,000.

The assessor is required to undertake the assessment in accordance with the 2021 EPA Code of Practice ( EPA Code of Practice 2021.pdf (size 2.8 MB) ); Waste Water Treatment & Disposal Systems serving Single Houses.

Offaly County Council require that a Site Suitability Assessment be carried out on the development site prior to submitting the application for planning permission. The Council require the submission of a Notification Form two weeks in advance of the assessment, providing the proposed test date – see SSA Notification Form link below.

When submitting the planning application, Offaly County Council require one copy of the completed site assessment report for each on-site wastewater treatment system proposed, completed on the EPA Site Characterisation Form, and including the supporting information and documentation listed in the link below - Required SSA Information for Planning Applications.

All commercial developments providing private effluent treatment systems shall comply with the provisions of the EPA Wastewater Treatment Manual; Treatment Systems for Small Communities, Business, Leisure Centres and Hotels and any subsequent amendments.

To ensure best practice in the overall context of the proper planning and sustainable development of the area, Offaly County Council will adopt a monitoring/auditing role in relation to this process and will carry out inspections to verify results as required.

The Notification Form and details relating to submitting the Site Suitability Assessment are located on the Planning Section pages at