Onsite Sewage Management

Council is required to prepare an On Site Sewage Management Strategy for its Local Government Area.

The On Site Sewage Management Strategy outlines an inspection regime for all septic tank systems in the Local Government Area based on a number of risk factors (e.g. land size, availability of water, location in drinking water catchment).

Council's Environmental Health Officers will be progressively implementing the On Site Sewage Management Strategy. Fees for these inspections will apply as per Council's Management Plan.

What is a septic system?

A septic system is used for the treatment and disposal of wastewater in areas that do not have sewer. These are often referred to as On Site Sewage Management Systems (OSSMS).

When do I need approval?

An approval is required whenever:

  1. a new system is installed; or
  2. alterations are made to an existing system. This includes new and altered plumbing and drainage works.
  3. ongoing approval to operate an OSSMS is required.

What is the process?

Before lodging an application with Council you should obtain the services of a geotechnical engineer who is qualified to design and site your septic system. This is usually detailed in a Geotechnical report. With this information you can draw a site specific plan of where the septic system will be located. Your nominated plumber may also provide additional advice on siting. You will also need to obtain a copy of the current NSW Health Accreditation available from NSW Health.  Bring these documents into Council along with a completed application form.

As part of the approval process Council must ensure the proposed septic system will not adversely impact on the surrounding environment and that it will be sufficient to deal with the effluent load. This is done by site inspection using the information provided as part of the application.

Once an approval of installation is issued, work may commence. As Council is responsible for ensuring the installation the proposed system is in accordance with the specifications and the geotechnical report a number of mandatory inspections are required at certain stages of the installation process. These are outlined in the installation approval.

At completion a final inspection will be conducted and an Approval to Operate will be issued. The approval to operate gives an approval period, after which time Council's Environmental Health Officers will complete an inspection to ensure the system is working efficiently.

The Easy Septic Guide booklet shows how to manage your wastewater treatment system safely.