Precast Concrete Holding Tank at St James Gate, Dublin

O’Reilly Oakstown installed a large commercial Precast Concrete Holding Tank at St James Gate, Dublin.

The installation was challenging for our Technical Team as the areas for preparation and installation were very confined. This is as opposed to the large commercial sites we would regularly be installing our commercial holding precast tanks on.

However, as you can see the the installation was a great success and the holding tank will prove to be very durable and last for decades to come.

For further information or to get a quotation please contact us here > or visit our full product range of Commercial Tanks here >


Environmental Protection all under control at Dublin Airport by O’Reilly Oakstown.

O’Reilly Oakstown installed our Oil/Water Separator under the new control tower at Dublin Airport this week. This system is a 6 litre per second class 1 full retention Oil/Water Separator.

Our high-efficiency coalescence Oil Separators are fitted to surface water drainage systems for protection of the environment from oil pollution. They conform to the European standard EN 858 for the design and use of prefabricated oil separators. All separators fulfil European standards achieving results of oil removal much lower than 5 mg/L.

We offer a number of types of Separators:

  • Full Retention Separators
  • Bypass Separators
  • Forecourt Separators
  • Others – Washdown Separators, Silt Traps

See More on our Oil Water Separators Here > 




Half of all septic tanks in Ireland failed inspections last year

Over a quarter of waste water systems inspected last year ‘posed risk to human health’.

The EPA’s annual report shows that half of all septic tanks in Ireland (1,160) failed inspection last year.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Inspection Plan for 2019 found that 26% of systems were a risk to human health or our environment with a further 51% of systems failing altogether.

In addition, 73% of failed systems between 2013 – 2016 were fixed but the EPA has warned that greater engagement is needed by Local Authorities in Ireland.

Local Authorities identified more serious issues with nearly 300 systems where they were found to be a risk to human health or the environment, the EPA said, with 27% of systems inspected since 2013 still not fixed.

“While there has been progress, the failure to resolve older cases remains a concern and must be addressed as priority, the EPA said in a statement today.

Domestic waste water treatment systems are used by rural householders to treat sewage with nearly half a million systems in Ireland. Most of these (90%) are septic tanks.

Today’s findings show that half of all septic tanks (1,160) failed inspection last year. A lack of maintenance and desludging was identified as a key issue at domestic systems, according to the EPA.

Commenting on today’s report, Dr Tom Ryan, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said: “If you do not maintain your septic tank, it can contaminate your own or your neighbour’s well, putting your health at risk and that of your family and neighbours.

“It may also pollute your local stream or river,” said Ryan. “You can take simple steps to maintain your septic tank by cleaning it out regularly and by making sure it is not leaking, ponding or discharging to ditches.”

The above article was written by Cónal Thomas and posted on The 22/07/20

Super BAF system installed for Co Meath Wedding Venue

We are delighted to have worked with our client, a wedding venue in Co Meath, where we installed a Super BAF system.

Our client needed a wastewater treatment system that is going to stand the test of time. As an award winning wedding venue they don’t want to be replacing their tank in a few years & with our maintenance contracts we can ensure the system is running smoothly and checked regularly by our team of technicians.

Good News for Rural Homeowners – Septic Tanks Grant

Minister Murphy announces new three-year investment programme for water services in rural areas

Mr. Eoghan Murphy, T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government today, Friday 8 February 2019, announced a new investment programme for water services in rural areas.  The Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme is to run from 2019 to 2021.

The announcement follows the review the Minister put in place to examine the wider investment needs relating to rural water services.  In 2018 the Minister appointed a high level Working Group which has now made recommendations for changes and improvements, which the Minister has accepted.

Key features of the Programme include:

  • Significant capital investment to support Group Water Schemes in rural areas.
  • A new grant measure to support rural communities to link to the public drinking water and waste water network.
  • The maximum grant for refurbishment works to a domestic well will increase from €2,031 to €3,000.  A new and additional provision is included for a maximum grant of €5,000 where a new well is required as an exceptional measure.
  • The means test to qualify for a grant to carry out improvement works on a septic tank is being abolished and the maximum grant is being increased to €5,000.  Currently, the maximum grant amounts available are €2,500 and €4,000 depending on the applicant’s means. Eligibility for the grant scheme is also being extended. Read full article here

O’Reilly Oakstown provide a range of Septic Tanks and Sewage Treatment Systems in all parts of  rural Ireland. Call us on 046 943 1389 or email us today to see how we can help you


Septic Tank Upgrades 

6 Person Wastewater Treatment

8 Person BAF Sewage Treatment System 

O’Reilly Oakstown Supply WWTS to Belvelly Tower House

O’Reilly Oakstown are pleased to be associated with Belvelly Tower House which was featured in RTE’s Great House Revival last Sunday Night

O’Reilly Oakstown Environmental installed a wastewater treatment system for the castle during the course of the build.The transformation of the 800 year old building was a credit to all involved in it’s restoration.

Improving Sewage Treatment and existing tanks

Peter Varley discusses the options available for upgrading existing sewage treatment systems and installing new ones.

Original Article appeared in Irish Farmers Journal on 04 Jul 2018

The fine weather offers an ideal opportunity to carry out works with faulty septic tanks and sewage treatment systems. Every homeowner with a private sewage treatment system is obliged to make sure their system is installed, operated and maintained in a way that makes sure it does not pose a risk to human health and the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), around 500,000 households in Ireland have a wastewater system that includes septic tanks and packaged systems.

Sewage treatment in one-off houses in rural Ireland traditionally consisted of a septic tank and gravel percolation area. The septic tank is the primary treatment area where primary separation of solid waste (sludge) within the water occurs.

Secondary treatment of wastewater is used to further purify wastewater. This is usually carried out using gravel percolation beds where the soil is expected to do the remaining 70% of sewage treatment. However, more modern systems have special secondary treatment systems that aerate the wastewater and mix it with a solution of microorganisms. Territory wastewater treatment involves removing phosphates and nitrates from the water supply. In Ireland, filtration systems are used to achieve this using peat beds, shredded coconut husks or sand filtration.

Existing tanks need to be maintained and checked often for blockages, ponding, odours, noises and sewage in nearby ditches and streams. Routine maintenance also needs to be carried out.

Improving existing tanks

Diarmuid O'ReillyDiarmuid O’Reilly, managing director of O’Reilly Oakstown, a wastewater treatment company based in Trim, Co Meath, says many of the sewage treatment systems in rural areas are not performing as they should.

“Some systems are leaking, while the design of others is not appropriate for the area it is situated,” Diarmuid explains. There is a grant available to upgrade existing tanks but this is inaccessible for the majority of homeowners.

Householders who registered their system by the prescribed date of 1 February 2013 may be eligible for this grant aid to repair or upgrade their system. However, to avail of the grant, you first have to fail a council inspection.

The number of inspections carried out have been very low to date per county. If you upgrade your system without a grant you should be familiar with the requirements of the legislation and your obligations as an owner.

Planning permission may be required if you are upgrading an existing sewage treatment system or installing a new one. The EPA advises to firstly check with your planning authority on whether planning permission was granted for your existing system including the type and location of system.

Where remediation is required, the EPA recommends that the homeowner procures the services of a competent wastewater professional.

Possible solutions

Sometimes, it may be possible to fix a tank by fixing the T-bend where the waste enters the primary tank.

A properly functioning T-bend slows down the rate of movement of solids into the tank, reducing the splash effect in the tank so that a scum layer can form creating anaerobic conditions for waste water treatment. Many existing systems are not working efficiently because percolation areas are too low and have no soakage (Figure 1).

Diarmuid says there are two common solutions to improve the performance of existing septic tanks. One solution involves installing a new 750-litre pump chamber and distribution box so that treated water can be pumped to a percolation area where soakage is better (Figure 2)


This pump chamber costs €1,150 including VAT. The other solution involves installing a bespoke secondary treatment system with an aeration system to improve the treatment process and further purify wastewater. There are many different types of secondary sewage treatment systems.

In Oakstown, they use a three-chamber secondary treatment process to digest, clarify and then pump the water from the two primary chambers. In the bioreactors, aerobic bacteria are cultured on durable netted plastic biomedia. This gives the microbes adequate surface to attach to while air is blown through the tubes from a low-watt blower sitting on top of the tank.

The air enters the tubes from the bottom of the tank and diffuses into millions of tiny bubbles, allowing the aerobic bacteria to thrive.

The inclusion of both air and grey water activates the bacteria to work on, further breaking down the sewage via aerobic digestion, and making it less harmful to the environment.

The second chamber acts as a clarifier to periodically remove any solids which may get to that stage. The final chamber is the discharge area. Here, a water pump moves treated sewage from the system to the percolation area. Diarmuid says up to 99% of the sewage treatment efficiency can be achieved after it goes through the combination of primary and secondary treatment. This secondary treatment tank costs €3,050 including VAT.

New tanks

If installing a new system for a new dwelling house or an existing home, Diarmuid says a soil engineer should be consulted before any decision or system choice is made. A soil engineer will assess the site and recommend what type of treatment system is necessary.

A site assessment will determine whether a particular site can achieve the safe dispersal of wastewater from a development. Diarmuid says soil engineers carry out T-tests and P-tests. Very good soils that are efficient at treating grey water in a percolation area will typically have a T-test result of five to 20.

Extremely free-draining soils with a T-test result under five are likely to require a secondary treatment system because partially treated sewage may make its way directly into groundwater or wells too easily.

On the other hand, wetter soils with a T-test over 20 would also be more likely to require secondary sewage treatment because in time there may be a risk of clogging in average to poor soils. As a rule of thumb, to calculate the size of the septic tank required, multiply the number of people in the house by 150 litres (as a person uses 150 litres/day) and add 2,000 litres. For example, a six-person house is (6 x 150) + 2,000 = 2,900 litres. Diarmuid says they have a combined primary and secondary treatment system designed to cater for a six-person household which costs €3,600 including VAT.

Desludging tanks

Routine maintenance of tanks mainly involves desludging. All of the wastewaters from your home go into your system. The sludge is a buildup of all solids. The sludge must not build up too much or your system will stop working properly.

According to the EPA, if the sludge is not removed, it can block the pipes in your percolation area. If this happens it is very difficult to clean and may require replacement.

It could also cause a risk to human health and the environment.

The sludge should be removed from the tank when it takes up more than half of the liquid depth in the tank or at least every five years.

A minimum of 75mm of sludge should remain in the tank as it contains billions of the good microbes necessary to help breakdown the new solids. Use a permitted waste contractor and keep your receipt.

How to ensure your sewage treatment system continues to work correctly:


Desludge your septic tank every four to five years, a crust forming in the second chamber is a tell-tale sign it needs desludging. If drains leading from your house are backing up, it points to a possible full tank and perhaps issues with the percolation area.

Check that the air vent from the sewer pipe is unobstructed and is sufficiently high above the house to disperse odours away from the house.

Keep inspection lids on at all times and only open when necessary.

Ensure that the electrics are well above any potential flooding in the garden.

Fit alarms to alert you if any electronic component of a sewage treatment system is not functioning correctly.


Don’t flush wipes, cooking oil, panty liners, hair, sanitary towels, etc, down the toilet because they can cause blockages.

Don’t overuse disinfectants and bleaches down the toilet because they can kill the bacteria in the sewage treatment system that are essential for the breakdown of effluent.

Don’t allow waste food from food macerators into the system as the biological oxygen demand (BOD) resulting from this far exceeds that of normal waste.

Don’t allow vehicles or farm machinery to cross lids.

Introducing ECOFLO

We are delighted to add Ecoflo Tertiary Treatment Filter – domestic and commercial applications – to our range of products.

Highest Performing
A reliable wastewater treatment system well adapted to all site conditions. Proven performances surpassing the strictest standards.
A permanent and ecological solution – no energy needed for the treatment. Pre-assembled, easy-to-handle units to ensure quality installations and less surplus material transported to sites.
Minimal final footprint – ideal when the available area for the installation is limited or if separation distances must be reduced.
Delivered ready to be installed to minimize civil works and eliminate construction on site. No excavation or relocation at the end of the life cycle of the filtering media (up to 15 years).

Complies with the ePa Code of Practice 2009

Example of applications include:

  • Residential, domestic properties
  • Rental or Holiday homes
  • New housing developments
  • Existing systems with issues
  • Areas of sensitive surroundings


Barleystone Paving Brochure 2017

Our sister company, Barleystone Paving, manufacture a large range of concrete block paving suited to any project, from domestic gardens and driveways, to commercial car parks and public areas.

Click on the image to download our latest Brochure here

We also manufacture airtight/paint grade masonry blocks for commercial applications.

Barleystone Paving specialise in the manufacture and supply of concrete block paving bricks throughout Ireland and the UK. We manufacture driveway paving, patio paving, garden paving, permeable paving in smooth and cobble, and granite paving to the private, commercial, educational, civil and industrial markets.

Whether you’re a home owner, architect, engineer, paving contractor, building contractor, developer or builders merchants Barleystone’s extensive range of paving products will have something to suit any paving job.

As part of the O’Reilly Concrete Group, we believe the product is only one vital element in ensuring customer satisfaction. With over 65 years of experience in producing superior quality concrete products, we now bring you the Barleystone range of block paving bricks for that “perfect finish”.

Some of our paving products include:

Block Paving

Paving enhances the look of any property as well as adding value. It is quick to install and long lasting. The Barleystone paving comes with a 25 year guarantee. With such a wide range of options, there will be something to suit any taste.

Kerbs and complimentary products

To add the finishing touch to your paving, we have a range of kerbs that can be used for edgings or in the construction of steps. Features such as circles or setts can add dramatically enhance the area.


We manufacture 80mm thick block paving which is suitable for commercial applications.
We also manufacture a full range of airtight masonry blocks for use in commercial buildings. These economical, high quality blocks have a fine textured surface designed for direct decoration

Completing a Septic Tank System Check – How & Why

Have you completed a septic tank system check?

Maintaining your wastewater system will help to protect your health and the local environment. Read below information on SystemSafe from the Environmental Health Agency

How a septic tank system treats your wastewater

1. Everything you flush down the toilet and send down the sinks, showers and washing machine or dishwasher ends up in your septic tank system.

2. Wastewater flows from the house to the septic tank. The solids and scum form sludge in the tank and this needs to be removed regularly.

3. Liquid effluent (wastewater) percolates down from the pipes through the soil in your garden into the percolation area. The soil itself helps filter out the bacteria before making its way to the groundwater in the bedrock below. This is the same groundwater that supplies water for any local wells.

“A well maintained system in the right site with the right soil conditions will protect your health, your local environment and your pocket.”

Planning a wastewater system, including a septic tank system Œ

When you are installing the plumbing in your house and wastewater system, which includes septic tanks and packaged systems, you should make sure that the grey water from sinks, showers and washing machines drains into the wastewater system. 

Do not allow rainwater from roofing into the wastewater system because it will flush out the solids which may block the percolation area or sit on the ground surface. Divert to a soakaway, which is a pit filled with stones into which clean water drains. Ž

Do not put driveways or paved areas over the percolation area because they can damage the underlying pipes. The percolation area is the area of the ground where the wastewater drains and filters through the soil.

Check your wastewater system every year

Every year, check your wastewater system for signs of sewage. Check:

• all manholes for blockages
• unwanted pools of water (ponding)
• odours
• noises
• sewage in nearby ditches and streams.

Use a permitted contractor to empty your wastewater system

  • Contact your local authority for a list of contractors.
  • You are required by law to keep records of sludge removal and maintenance for five years.
  • If you are a farmer with your own land, you can spread the sludge but only in accordance with the Waste Management (Use of Sewage Sludge in Agriculture) Regulations.

What is the difference between a septic tank system and a packaged treatment system?

A septic tank system depends more on the soil in the percolation area to treat wastewater. A packaged treatment system relies less on the soil but has more mechanical parts to treat the wastewater. Packaged treatment systems, therefore, need more maintenance. Sludge has to be removed from both types of systems.
Conserve water
Conserve water by using water-saving devices such as high-efficiency showerheads that don’t leak and garden hose shut-off nozzles.

Avoid sink waste disposal units
Do not use sink waste disposal units as they can increase the amount of waste by one third and result in additional maintenance.

Watch what you put down the sink
Do not pour fat and grease or hazardous chemicals like pesticides and paints down the sink. They can block the pipes and kill the good bacteria.

Watch what you flush
Do not flush non-degradable products down the toilet, for example, feminine care products, nappies, condoms or wipes because they can block the pipes and percolation area, or get caught in moving parts such as pumps

Be careful with cleaning substances
Do not overuse bleach and disinfectants because they can kill the good bacteria in the system.

Your well may be at risk from your wastewater system
Test your private well water every year after heavy rain as contamination is likely to be high at this time. Contact your local authority or HSE environmental health officer for advice on water testing.

“In order for something to become clean, something else must become dirty”

Frequently asked Questions

What are my responsibilities as a homeowner?

The law obliges you to make sure your system is installed, operated and maintained in a way that makes sure it doesn’t pose a risk to human health and the environment.

What is the sludge in the system?

All of the wastewaters from your home go into your system. The sludge is a build-up of all solids.

Why do I need to remove the sludge from my septic tank system?

The sludge must not build up too much or your system will stop working properly. If the sludge is not removed, it can block the pipes in your percolation area. If this happens it is very difficult to clean and may require replacement – an expensive option! It could also cause a risk to human health and the environment.

How often should I remove the sludge from my system?

Research is ongoing to provide more specific advice, but the sludge should be removed from the tank when the sludge takes up more than half of the liquid depth in the tank or at least every five years. A minimum of 75 mm of sludge should remain in the tank as it contains billions of the good microbes necessary to help breakdown the new solids. Use a permitted waste contractor and keep your receipt.

Who can remove the sludge from your system?

If you are a farmer with your own land, you can spread the sludge from your own wastewater system but only but only in accordance with the Waste Management (Use of Sewage Sludge in Agriculture) Regulations. If you do not have your own land, you must get the sludge removed by a permitted contractor.

Where does the sludge go?

Permitted contractors bring the sludge to authorised facilities for treatment. Details on permitted contractors operating in your county are available from your local authority


systemsafe-logo-septic-tanksAround 500,000 households in Ireland have a wastewater system that includes septic tanks and packaged systems. About 137,000 of these also have a private well for drinking water. Since 2013, all homeowners with a wastewater system must be registered with their local authority (LA). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent public body. We are responsible for supervising local authorities when they inspect wastewater systems. We do this to ensure that the systems are suitable and well maintained.

A quarter of wastewater systems (25%) inspected failed the LAs inspection due to poor operation and poor maintenance. Poorly maintained wastewater systems can affect your drinking water especially from private wells. Many people assume that their private well water is safe to drink and don’t treat it or get it tested. They shouldn’t because a recent study found that E.coli, which can cause serious illness, is present in almost a third (29%) of Irish private wells.

For more information, contact your local environment section or visit

Download ‘Have you completed a septic tank system check‘ PDF from SystemSafe

Make your Sewage Treatment System a Priority for New Homes!

Are you building a new home? If you are building your dream home it’s natural that Sewage Treatment may not be a priority! However it is now vital more than ever before to consider the status of your septic tank.

It is important that you pick a wastewater treatment system that will last the lifetime of your house!

If your septic tank is poorly functioning and your sewage system fails, you could face the inconvenience if having to upgrade or replace it.

1. You need it to be structurally sound to withstand typical Irish ground conditions – this means using a Concrete built system, which are certified in excess of 50 years

2. You need an economical operation – the new generation of low watt blowers cost as little as 8c per day to run!

3. Certification – proof that it does as it says! Ireland top engineers recommend O’Reilly Oakstown

Most importantly you need reliability – we only use top class components backed by a dedicated service team to guarantee your peace of mind

Watch our video below to find out what you need to consider when getting a wastewater treatment system for your new home.