On-site Sewage Management Systems

A community unlike any other

Explore inspiring articles, discover events, connect with locals and learn more about Coffs Harbour City Council.

20 Years of Storytime

20 Years of Storytime

Coffs Harbour Libraries is celebrating 20 years of Storytime with a special storytime and cake...

Read more
Naming Rights

Naming Rights Sponsor

Coffs Harbour City Council is seeking a Naming Rights Sponsor for Coffs Harbour International Sports Stadium, currently known as C.ex Coffs International Stadium...

Read more
Around the World

Young People - Have Your Say

Council is keen to hear from young people about how they would like to contribute to the planning of services and facilities within the LGA...

Read more
View all news

Latest News

Cultural Civic Space

Dog Destroyed and Owner Fined and Banned after Attack

A pet owner has been banned from keeping a dog for life and his dog destroyed after an attack in which two alpacas were killed ...

Read more
SummerSalt

Big Names Coming to Coffs

The news that SummerSalt will be bringing some of Australia’s biggest music names to Coffs Harbour in February 2019 has been greeted with delight...

Read more
First Sikh Temple

First Sikh Temple Receives Historic Recognition

The First Sikh Temple in Woolgoolga – the earliest example of a purpose-built Sikh temple in Australia – is to be designated as a place of local historical interest...

Read more
View all news

On-site Sewage Management Systems

​​​​​​​​​​​If your home is not connected to Council's reticulated sewerage system (or town sewer), then you are likely to dispose of your wastewater via an on-site sewage management system. 

An on-site sewage management system is a term used to refer to:       

  • Septic systems;       
  • Secondary treatment systems eg. aerated wastewater treatment systems, reed beds, sand filter;       
  • Pump-out systems; and
  • Composting toilets

On-Site Sewage Management Strategy

This strategy was originally prepared in 2000, reviewed in 2006 and updated in 2015 in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act 1993, Australian/New Zealand Standard (AS/NZS) 1547, and Department of Local Government Guideline 1998.  Since the implementation of the strategy, key government guidelines and standards have been updated, reflecting changes in sewage treatment technology and effluent disposal methods along with a growing understanding of the human and environmental health impacts stemming from poorly managed on-site was​​te water systems.

The strategy has now been reviewed and updated to provide this information to the community, plumbers and drainers, service agents, consultants and developers on the requirements for installation, operation and maintenance of OSSMS.

 
  
Description
  

​If you would like to install a new on-site sewage management system (septic tank) you will need to gain Council approval. This approval is required when installing a new system or amending an existing on-site sewage management system. 

When building a new house, you or your plumber should complete this form at the Development Application stage.

The On-site Sewage Management Checklist must be completed and all requested information is to accompany your application.

Carry Out Sanitary plumbing and Drainage Work and/or Install or Modify an OSSM Form

  

​This is an ongoing approval required under State Government legislation that must be applied for through Council.  It requires the landowner to take all reasonable steps to minimise transmission of disease, pollution of water and degradation of land. In turn Council is required to ensure each system is working efficiently. Council will notify you when this approval is due.

Carry Out Sanitary Plumbing and Drainage Work and/or Install or Modify OSSM Form

  

​Poorly maintained or managed on-site sewage management systems are a serious source of water pollution and may present a health risk, cause odours and attract vermin and insects. What you put down your drains and toilet has a lot to do with how well your on-site sewage management system performs.

Maintenance of your sewage management system needs to be done regularly to ensure it continues to work effectively, to protect the public's health and the environment.  The following is a guide to the types of things you should and should not do to maintain a healthy on-site sewage management system. ​

  

 

​​Do

Don't

Learn how your sewage management system works and its operational and maintenance requirements.

Let children or pets play on land application areas.

 

Learn the location and layout of your sewage management system.

Water fruit and vegetables with effluent.

Have your AWTS (if installed) inspected and serviced four times per year and by an approved contractor. Other systems should be inspected at least once every year.

Extract untreated groundwater for cooking and drinking.

Keep a record of desludging, inspections and other maintenance.

Put large quantities of bleaches, disinfectants, whiteners, nappy soakers and spot removers into your system via the sink, washing machine or toilet.

Have your septic tank or AWTS desludged every three years to prevent sludge build up, which may clog the pipes.

Allow any foreign material such as nappies, sanitary napkins, condoms and other hygienic products to enter the system.

Conserve Water around the house. This will reduce the amount of wastewater produced that needs to be treated.

Put fats, oils and food wastes down the drain.

Discuss with Council the adequacy of your existing sewage management system if you are considering house extensions for increased occupancy

Install or use a garbage grinder or spa bath if your system is not designed for it.