Septic or on-site wastewater management

Onsite waste water disposal

If you live on a property that is not connected to reticulated sewerage, you will need to manage the disposal of your waste water on your property.

The Towards Better Onsite Wastewater Management in Victoria – Community Education Series are helpful fact sheets that have been developed to assist residents to understand their responsibilities and options for managing waste water. These fact sheets cover the common types of systems, how they operate and how they need to be maintained.

Application to install/alter a septic tank system

Prior to submitting your application to install or alter a septic tank it is recommended that you read the guidance information contained at the front of our application form. We also recommended that you refer to the information contained within fact sheets 1, 2, 6, 10 and 12 from the Towards Better Onsite Wastewater Management in Victoria – Community Education Series.

It is important to note that on site waste water disposal systems are sized for the dwelling that they service not for the number of people that will occupy the dwelling once it has been constructed.

Once an application for the installation or alteration of a septic tank system has been submitted to Council, Council has 42 days to process the application and issue a Permit to Install or request additional information. No works should be commenced prior to the issuing of your permit. Should works commence without a permit, an infringement notice may be issued by Council.

For a list of current fees please see Council’s current fee structure.

Application for extension of time or amend septic permit

Once granted septic tank permits are valid for 2 years, however you can apply for an additional 12 months extension. The additional 12 months must be applied for at least twenty-eight (28) days prior to your permit expiring. 

Should an extension of time be granted, this extension will be valid for twelve (12) months. No additional extensions will be granted. If the system has not been installed and approved within this extended period of time, you will need to lodge a new 'application to install a septic system'.

If your permit to install/alter has already expired, and your system has not been approved by Council, you will be required to apply for a new application to install to ensure that your proposed wastewater system complies with the EPA Code of Practice and other relevant legislation.

Required inspections

On average 3 inspections are undertaken for all septic tank permits.

Initial site inspection

A site inspection to determine the suitability of your site will be carried out prior to issuing a permit to install.

It may be useful to request a joint inspection prior to lodging the application to discuss site issues or possible alternative systems.

To arrange an onsite inspection prior to installation, please call Council's Public Health Department on 5494 1200.

Inspection of installation

An inspection will be carried out by Council's Public Health Officer during the installation of your onsite wastewater treatment system to ensure compliance with permit conditions. Items that are assessed during the inspection include:

  • The size, siting and installation of the septic tank or treatment plant
  • The construction, siting and length of effluent distribution lines
  • That inspection openings are up to ground level
  • The use of geo-fabric material between the aggregate and top soil in the distribution lines
  • The quality of the aggregate for the distribution lines.

To facilitate this inspection, the on-site treatment system and distribution lines should remain uncovered until after the inspection. Inspections are carried out during normal business hours and 24 hours notice is required.

Final inspection

Once Council has received a written request for a final inspection and all required documents a final inspection of the system will be carried out.

Following this inspection a ‘certificate to use’ will be issued. This certificate will be required by your building surveyor prior to the issuing of your occupancy permit.