Do I need an on-site sewage management system?

If you live in a rural or rural residential area and are not connected to Sydney Water's sewerage system, you will need an on-site sewage management system (OSSMS).

These systems include:

  • Traditional septic tanks
  • Pump-out systems
  • Aerated wastewater treatment systems
  • Composting units
  • Reed beds, sand filters and mounds

These systems ensure that wastewater from your kitchen, bathroom and laundry is disposed of safely, and is important in the prevention of pollution and the spread of disease.

How do I install an OSSMS or alter an existing one?

The installation of a new OSSMS or the alteration/upgrade of an existing system requires Council approval and you will need to complete and return a Sewage Management Facility Installation application form.

The system that you choose will be dependent on a number of factors including land zoning, site size, soil characteristics, the risk to ground and surface waters and the development proposed. Technologies are constantly advancing, and it is important to explore a range of system options to find the one that best suits your needs.

Your application needs to be approved before any work is undertaken. Your application will need to be supported by a wastewater management report (geotechnical report), plans and specifications.

Once your application has been assessed an approval will be issued outlining the conditions for compliance and system installation is able to begin. Council officers are required to inspect the system at various stages of the installation.

Does my OSSMS need to be inspected?

We operate an inspection program to ensure the ongoing management of on-site sewage management systems.

Your system must be operated in accordance with the performance standards set out in Clause 44 of the Local Goverment (General) Regulation 2021

That is, it must achieve:

a) the prevention of the spread of disease by micro-organisms
b) the prevention of the spread of foul odours
c) the prevention of contamination of water
d) the prevention of degradation of soil and vegetation
e) the discouragement of insects and vermin
f) ensuring that persons do not come into contact with untreated sewage or effluent (whether treated or not) in their ordinary activities on the premises concerned
g) the minimisation of any adverse impacts on the amenity of the premises and surrounding lands
h) if appropriate, provision for the reuse of resources (including nutrients, organic matter and water).

You will be given 2 weeks notification in writing of our intention to inspect your OSSMS. You will need to contact us to make payment in accordance with our fees and charges and arrange a suitable time for the inspection to take place.

Where can I find out more?

For more information on OSSMS download the Office of Local Government’s Easy Septic Guide.

Last updated : Mon 18 Sep 2023