While there has been an overall drift from rural to urban living, Ireland has many dwellings situated in rural areas. In 2006 there were 555,000 households in rural zones, which increased to 602,000 by 2011 (CSO, 2012). Such development in rural settings makes the provision of public services, such as electricity, telephone and waste collection, more expensive.  

Also, many such houses are served by septic tank treatment systems, with consequent risk to groundwater if there is insufficient percolation.

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