On-site sewage management systems are designed for the treatment and disposal of wastewater in a safe and healthy manner. These systems are necessary in areas where there is no direct connection to sewer infrastructure available.
They are regulated and monitored by local Councils to ensure the systems meet the Environment & Health Protection Guidelines and to prevent the inappropriate disposal of waste water which could lead to the spread of disease by bacteria, viruses, parasites and other organisms. Untreated waste water has the potential to contaminate groundwater and surface water, increase the degradation of soil and vegetation and reduce community amenity in regards to odours, noise and insects.
Choosing the right on-site sewage management system
There are many different types of on-site sewage management systems. Before choosing a system you should consult an on-site sewage management system consultant for advice on what system is right for you.
NSW Health provides a list of accredited on-site sewage management systems.
Under the Local Government Act 1993 a person must not install or operate a system without prior approval from Council.
Applying for approval
Council approval is required before Installing a on-site sewage management system. You must complete an Application for Installation of a Human Waste Storage Facility which requires an on-site sewage management system consultant to provide a Site and Soil Assessment in accordance with Australian / New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1547:2012, On-site Domestic Wastewater Management. The disposal area must also be designed in accordance with this standard.
Council is required to issue an approval to operate all on-site sewage management systems within the Council area regardless of the type or age of the system. The length of these approvals, range from 1 to 3 years depending on the type of system.
Approvals must be renewed after this time as without an approval it is an offence under the Local Government Act 1993. Council will contact you in regards to a system inspection when your approval is near expiry. After Council is satisfied with the condition and operation of the system, an Approval to Operate an On-site Sewage Management System form will be sent to the owner / operator.
Removal, reuse or upgrading your wastewater system
If you are in possession of a disused or redundant onsite wastewater system, information of how to remove or utilise the system can be found on the NSW Health website and Advisory Note 3 as issued by NSW Health. Council must also be contacted in regards to any changes so that records can be updated accordingly.