Onsite sewage management

Overview

If your property can't connect to the Sydney Water sewer network you'll need to install and operate an onsite sewage management system.

You need Council approval before you install, use, or make changes to an onsite sewage management system.

An onsite sewage management system must be:

  • appropriate for long-term use on the site
  • operated to meet the performance standards specified in Clause 44(1) of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005.

Specified standards include:

  • prevention of spread of disease by micro-organisms
  • prevention of spread of foul odours
  • prevention of contamination of water
  • prevention of degradation of soil and vegetation
  • discouragement of insects and vermin
  • ensuring people don't come into contact with untreated sewage or effluent (whether treated or not) in their ordinary activities at the site
  • minimising any adverse impacts on the site and surrounding land's amenity
  • if appropriate, providing for the reuse of resources (including nutrients, organic matter and water).

Apply to install

If you lodge a Development Application with Council and a requirement is to install a new onsite sewage management system, you'll need Activity Approval from Council.

Submit your application

You'll need to include the following documents with your application.

A site plan drawn to appropriate scale.

It must clearly show:

  • proposed effluent irrigation areas
  • land area available
  • driveways
  • paved areas
  • pools
  • other structures
  • proximity to sensitive environments (creeks, drains, dams etc)
  • slope and aspect.

Details (specifications/drawings) of the onsite sewage management system to be installed.

Include all specifications and NSW Department of Health certification details.

Detailed site soil and hydraulic assessment prepared by an appropriately qualified geotechnical or wastewater expert.

Assessment must reference:

  • The Environment & Health Protection Guidelines: Onsite Sewage Management for Single Households. This includes a wastewater report template.
  • AS/NZS 1547:2012 Onsite domestic wastewater management.
  • WaterNSW Designing and Installing Onsite Wastewater Systems.

Application to install a system

Modify or upgrade

If your system requires modification such as new absorption trenches, or if it hasn't passed a Council inspection, you'll need to modify or upgrade your existing system.

Prepare for an inspection

If your system requires modification, you'll need to:

  • dig 3 holes to a depth of 1.2 metres in the proposed disposal are
  • cover each hole for safety
  • allow Council Officers to inspect the site.

Submit your application

You'll need to include the following documents with your application form.

A site plan drawn to appropriate scale.

It must clearly show:

  • proposed effluent irrigation areas
  • land area available
  • driveways
  • paved areas
  • pools
  • other structures
  • proximity to sensitive environments (creeks, drains, dams etc)
  • slope and aspect.

Details (specifications/drawings) of the onsite sewage management system to be installed.

Include all specifications and NSW Department of Health certification details.

Detailed site soil and hydraulic assessment prepared by an appropriately qualified geotechnical or wastewater expert.

Assessment must reference:

  • The Environment & Health Protection Guidelines: Onsite Sewage Management for Single Households. This includes a wastewater report template.
  • AS/NZS 1547:2012 Onsite domestic wastewater management.
  • WaterNSW Designing and Installing Onsite Wastewater Systems.

Application to modify or upgrade a system

Transfer operator ownership

If you buy a property that has an onsite sewage management sytem, you'll need to apply for approval to operate it.

Approval to operate is linked to the owner not the property.

You need to submit an approval to operate form to us with 3 months of the land transfer date or date the land is conveyed to you, in order to continue operating the system until your application is assessed.

Include in your application the system's information and servicing details of the system if known (Section C6 of the application form).

Application for approval to operate