An onsite wastewater management system is commonly referred to as a septic or a septic tank system. A septic tank system treats all of the wastewater generated from a dwelling and disposes of, or re-uses, the treated wastewater onsite.
There are a number of different types of septic tank systems available. From the traditional septic tank and effluent disposal field, to the Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS), reed beds, composting toilets and worm farms.
It is the owner's responsibility to apply for a permit to install the system before installation works commence on any new dwelling. Likewise, altering an existing system due to renovations also requires a permit.
Septic / wastewater systems
If you plan to reside on a property which is not connected to a sewer system, your property will require an onsite wastewater treatment system.
An onsite wastewater management system is commonly referred to as septic or a septic tank system. A septic tank system treats all of the wastewater generated from the dwelling and disposes of or, re-uses the treated wastewater onsite, within the properties boundaries.
There are a number of different types of septic tank systems available. From the traditional septic tank and effluent disposal field, to the All Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS), composting toilet and worm farm.
To choose a system that is right for you and your property you need to ensure that the system is approved by the EPA. A list of approved wastewater treatment systems and the appropriate conditions can be found on the EPA website.
Whichever system you choose, you may be required to conduct a Land Capability Assessment (LCA) to determine the quality of the soil, percolation rate and management of the septic system. LCA’s are required for subdivisions and blocks on steeply sloping land, coastal areas and soils with heavy clay.
It is the owners responsibility to apply for a permit to install or alter the system before works commence on installing a system to any new dwelling, Likewise, altering an existing system due to renovations also requires a permit.
A property with a septic tank system requires a “Permit to Install” and a “Approval to Use” issued by Council before the system is used or a Certificate of Occupancy is issued by a Building Surveyor. The “Permit to Install” provides conditions about the type and use of system approved for the dwelling. A site plan will also require approval and show the septic tank location and the effluent disposal area.
It is important when designing your system and drawing up plans that your system meets the minimum setback distances, as required by the EPA. The required setback distance can be found in the .............
Council’s Environmental Health Officers will inspect the property to ensure the septic tank system planned meets the guidelines and issue a Permit to Install.
Once the septic tank system is ready and the installing plumber’s certificate of compliance received and a copy of the as constructed plan, an environmental Health Officer will conduct a final inspection and an Approval to Use will be issued to the owner. For this approval to be issued, all effluent disposal or irrigation areas must be set up in accordance with the plans approved with your Permit to Install.
A properly managed wastewater system will assist in prolonging the life of the system and prevent it from premature failure that could result in a public health risk. Responsibility for managing an onsite wastewater system falls with the property owner. Treatment plants must be regularly maintained by a professional service technician as per the manufacturer's instructions, conditions on your septic permit and the maintenance reports forwarded to council.
Further inquiries regarding septic tank systems can be made by contacting Council's Environmental Health Unit on (03) 5358 8700.
The proper management of domestic wastewater in the Northern Grampians Shire is paramount to protect public health and the environment for years to come. Proper management is particularly important in the current drought crisis and severe water restrictions.
This Municipal Domestic Wastewater Management Plan 2017-2020 outlines the management strategies and actions planned by Northern Grampians Shire Council to address identified issues with wastewater management across our communities.
The Plan links to other Council Plans to ensure a coordinated and united approach to water issues over the next few years.
Northern Grampians Shire Council looks forward to implementing this Plan in partnership with stakeholders including the community to achieve the ultimate goals and objectives.
Municipal Domestic Wastewater Management Plan 2017-2020(PDF, 455KB)
To ensure that a new septic tank on your property is installed in line with health regulations, it is important that you register your intention with Council. Likewise, if you wish to amend the location of your septic tank system or alter it in any way, you also must register this with Council.
In the case of building or altering your home a Permit to Install a Wastewater System will be required before a building permit will be issued.