On-site Sewage Management Systems & Septic Safe

Improperly managed sewage on private properties has resulted in dangerous levels of water and food contamination and outbreaks of disease.

Septic Safe is a local community health program designed to identify inefficient septic systems in our community and help keep them working well.

Why is it important to have my on-site sewage management system inspected by Council?

A State Government survey of on-site sewage management (OSSM) systems in NSW showed that up to 70% of systems were experiencing some type of failure.

As a result the NSW State Government developed legislation which stipulates that every OSSM system in NSW should be inspected to ensure it is not having an adverse impact on the health of people or the surrounding environment.

Hawkesbury Council estimates that there are over 9,000 on-site sewage management systems with the Hawkesbury Local Government Area.

What should I do to prepare for my approval to operate inspection?

To prepare for your council inspection please ensure that:

  • Safe access is provided to the tank(s) and effluent disposal area.
  • The area around the tanks and effluent disposal area has been mowed.
  • Dogs and any other animals or stock have been secured or locked up.
If I own an Aerated Wastewater Treatment System (AWTS) and pay a service agent to service my system quarterly do I still need to have an inspection done by council?

Yes. At this point in time the Council inspection is one of the only quality control regulators of this industry. Service agents are not licenced or regulated by any Government body. Inspections are undertaken by SMF Technical Officers from council to check the adequacy of the system as a whole and to ensure that the system is not impacting on public health or the environment.

What happens if my septic system is failing?

A Council officer will work closely with you to ensure that you understand why your system is failing and how to fix it. If your on-site sewage management system is failing Council may issue with an Order under the Local Government Act 1993 or take alternative action to ensure that the problems with your system are rectified.

Application to Install Amend On-Site Sewerage Management Facility
Frequency of Inspection

All on-site sewage management systems are required to be registered with Council. Each system will be assessed and once passed with be categorised into low, moderate or high risk.

Inspection categories are allocated based on the type of system, the age of the system and any environmental and health risks associated with the site.

Upon a satisfactory inspection council will issue an approval to operate to the owner for the system. This approval will detail the renewal date and conditions for safe operation and maintenance of your system.Septic Risk

More Information

Page ID: 162193

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