It is important for the health of the community and the environment that waste water is disposed of by the approved standards set out by the Environment Protection Authority. If a property does not have reticulated sewerage connection, this means the installation and maintenance of an approved septic tank system.
Permits and Licences
Before installing or altering any part of a septic tank system, the owner must have completed a Permit to Install/Alter a Septic Tank System Form (2MB).
The system you install must be approved by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). A full list of approved systems is available on the EPA website or see the list of local treatment plant installers below.
For larger systems serving multiple tenements, shops, hotels, motels, restaurants and commercial or industrial premises, additional permits or works approvals and licenses from planning authorities may be required under the Environment Protection Act 1970 from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
Permit application forms should be fully completed, signed and returned to council with:
- A fee of $508.00 for a new installation
- A fee of $422.00 for a major alteration to an existing system
- A fee of $214.00 for a minor alteration to an existing system
- Property Title or Plan of Subdivision
- Scaled site plans showing proposed construction and septic installation site, existing structures and driveways, adjoining roads and properties, any water courses or supplies and the north point
- House floor plans
- A copy of the Land Capability Assessment (if required - please refer to application form). For a list of Land Capability Assessment providers please conduct a Google search or use the Yellow pages.
We will reply with confirmation of any further requirements regarding your septic installation once your application is received. When all legislative components of your installation process are complete and an onsite inspection has been conducted, a permit to use your septic system will be issued.
Note: The installation of the Septic Tank System must be completed within 2 years of the date of issue of the permit to install/alter.
Secondary Wastewater System Installers
For a list of treatment plant installers please conduct a Google search or use the Yellow pages.
Plans and Inspections
Applications for permits to install a septic tank system must be accompanied by a floor plan of the building or dwelling, along with a detailed site plan and a to-scale plan of the proposed septic tank system. An initial inspection of the site will then be held by the Environmental Health Officer accompanied by the owner or owner’s representative and plumber in order to confirm the most appropriate system to be installed.
A permit to install will then be issued, and any subsequent changes required after this time will need to be submitted in writing and may incur a $114.00 additional inspection fee and/or a $67.00 reissue of permit fee. A second/final inspection by the Environmental Health Officer will take place after your septic tank system has been installed but prior to the tank and effluent disposal system being backfilled and covered.
Note: Plumbers and drainers are advised that prior to notification to the Environmental Health Officer for the final inspection, the plumber/drainer responsible for the installation shall ensure that all works are in accordance with the approved plans and specifications and permit issued. A 'Certificate of Compliance' completed and signed by the installing licensed plumber/drainer is required before an approval to use can be issued.
- All waste installations shall consist of not less than 3200 litre capacity septic tank
- WC waste only septic tanks shall be 1800 litre capacity
- Unless otherwise approved by the responsible authority, no septic tank shall be constructed or installed closer than 2m to the foundations of any house or building or the boundary of any allotment
- On sloping sites, effluent disposal should be on the low side to ensure water does not lay against, enter or affect the stability of any building
- The aggregate for effluent disposal systems and sand filters shall be clean and uniformly graded according to the system
- The septic tank system shall be set out and constructed as shown on the plan approved by the responsible authority
- The septic tank shall be installed so that the approved test mark or manufacturer’s identification mark is accessible for examination until it has been inspected and approved
Building Regulations and Septic Tanks
Under Section 801 of the Victorian Building Regulations 2006, a building permit for works in an unsewered area requires the Report and Consent of the relevant Council or a relevant Septic Tank Permit to Install.
This consent can be obtained by lodging the Application for Report and Consent for Works in an Non-Sewered Area (451KB) with the appropriate plans and application fee. The Report and Consent need not be obtained if a permit to install or alter a septic tank system in relation to that building application has been issued by Council for the works.
Further Information is also available on the The Care and Use of your Septic Tank System Information Sheet (204KB), which provides general maintenance information and helpful advice on tree planting within the vicinity of your septic system.
Decommissioning Septic Tank Systems
When existing premises are connected to a reticulated sewer system or a new septic system is installed, all redundant septic tank(s) are to be decommissioned using the procedure detailed below. This is to ensure that the redundant tank(s) do not cause any future public health or environmental problems.
Decommissioning should be done within 90 days of connecting to mains sewerage or a new system.
- Licensed plumber undertakes connection works from dwelling to reticulated sewerage system or new septic system.
- All effluent and sludge is to be removed from the redundant septic tank(s) by an approved contractor (for a list of contractors please conduct a Google search or use the Yellow pages).
- Contractor to apply lime to inside of tank and wash down. Resultant sullage water to be pumped out.
- Septic tank inlet and outlet points are thoroughly sealed.
- A hole or holes adequate for drainage purpose is to be provided to the bottom of the tank(s).
- The concrete lids and portion of the tank walls are to be broken to ground level or below ground level.
- The tank(s) are to be filled with solid, non-putrescible fill; with the ground surface made good. If settling of the fill material occurs over time it may be necessary to make good the ground surface with further fill.
- Subsurface irrigation pipe work (purple) may be removed for further landscaping. Care must be taken when touching any part of the system to avoid contamination from sewerage. Thorough hand washing must occur following works.
- Associated pumps and alarms can be removed.
- Tanks should only be removed from the ground if appropriate advice as been received from Council regarding structural footing and decontamination requirements.