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Living in the Country

Transport
Overall, rural areas are very badly served for public transport. Consequently there is great reliance on the car. Bus transport between major cities is frequent and affordable. However there is little bus activity in areas off the beaten track.

Trains are not available in rural areas. School transport is generally available - however it is wise to check this out in specific cases before moving to the country.

waterServices
Electricity is virtually everywhere as are telephone lines. Piped water is available in very many rural areas through group water schemes. Many houses get water from their own deep bored wells.

The biggest problem in rural housing is a lack of public sewage schemes. Single houses require separate septic tanks which often pose threats of pollution to the water table which lies under the land. Very strict regulations are in place to protect the water quality. Single houses generally require a half acre site (minimum).

Internet
Internet access in rural areas is something that is improving all the time with infrastructure, Local community groups who apply for grants and mobile phone and internet technology.

There can be lots of options of internet access in rural Ireland examples would be satellite broadband, mobile broadband and landline internet access. Some work better that others and it is solely based on location.

Sewage treatment
City dwellers should be aware of the difference between urban and rural wastewater treatment systems. The main difference is that wastewater from all city houses goes into a pipe under the road which eventually ends up in a huge sewage treatment plant like Ringsend in Dublin, while in the countryside, each house has to have its own small treatment system on the site.

The reason for that is because it isn’t practical or affordable to have pipes running all over the countryside from house to house.

In the city, people flush the toilet and normally they have no responsibility or interest in where it goes after that. Sometimes there is a blockage and the Local Authority is called. In the country, the owner of the house is responsible for their own system. The actual toilet, shower, wash hand basin, etc, are the same in the city and country, its what happens to the waste after it leaves the house that’s different.

Living in the country, the main words you will hear about are the system is septic tank - especially if the system gets blocked. There are hundreds of thousands of these in the country - one for each house. Basically they are covered tanks buried in the field which holds the sewage from the house. Excess dirty water is drained off into the ground for treatment by mother nature. It is a natural system with no chemicals involved.

However, even though the treatment is natural there are many different types of septic tank systems in use as well as very strict environmental regulations about keeping them serviced and in good working order.

It is highly recommended that all resettling families learn about the system in their new home and who to contact if something goes wrong.
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