Septic tanks approval and maintenance

The installation of septic tanks throughout the Shire is in accordance with the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) code of practice. What you need need to know after you apply for a septic tank and how to maintain your system. 

Approval process

  • No installation work should be conducted without the “Permit to Install”. 24 hours before works begin the owner or the plumber should contact Council’s Environmental Health Unit to request a progress inspection
  • Once Council’s Environmental Health Unit receives and approves this document, you will be issued with a “Permit to Use” the septic tank system
  • Note: A Building Surveyor cannot issue an “occupancy certificate” until Council issues your “Permit to Use”


Maintaining your system

  • The property owner is responsible for maintaining the septic tank system
  • You must desludge your septic tanks at least once every 3 years - including standard septic tanks and aerated wastewater treatment systems (AWTS)
  • An AWTS must be serviced through a contract with an accredited service technician every 3 months

View a list of service providers(PDF, 61KB) and an example of a service report(DOCX, 23KB) for all the areas that need attention during a service. 

Failure to maintain system

Council follows up all owners or occupiers that are not maintaining their systems within the required timeframe.

Failure to maintain your system is an offence under Section 53N of the Environmental Protection Act 1970 and can result in an infringement of 5 penalty units. 



Septic Fees Amount
Permit to Install $734.70
Major alternation (including 2 inspections) $734.70
Minor alternation, Cost of works max $2000 (including 1 inspections) $559.90
Extension to current permit only 1 extension allowed $124.90
Transfer of a permit $149.00
Additional inspection request $100.00
Septic information request $149.00
Amend a permit  $156.00
Sample request Cost of sample plus 20% 


Domestic Wastewater Management Plan

Our Domestic Wastewater Management Plan(PDF, 1MB) (DWMP) allows for better development of houses in regional areas where waterways may otherwise have excessively restricted growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an onsite wastewater management system?

  • An onsite wastewater management system is also known as a septic or septic tank system. 
  • A septic tank system treats all wastewater from a dwelling and removes or re-uses the treated wastewater onsite, within property boundaries. 
  • There are many different types of septic tank systems available, from the traditional standard septic tank to an Aerated Wastewater Treatment System (AWTS), composting toilet, and worm farm. 
  • Choose a system approved by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). Review this list of approved systems on the EPA website(link is external).
  • All septic tank systems must follow the current Australian New Zealand standards 
  • You should pump out the sludge from your tank (at least every 3 years but every year is best)
  • The Environmental Protection Act(link is external) requires that they approve all systems generating less than 5,000 litres per day before installation.

Can I get a copy of my permit or documentation regarding my septic tank?

Any additional septic permit or any documentation Council has about your septic can be provided by Council by lodging a written request via email to or via post/ in person with a Septic/ Sewer information request which carries a fee of $59.00.

Can I change the type of system I have been allowed to install?

Depending on your block size and its proximity to various water ways a septic system can pose a greater risk to the local environment and drinking water: due to this Council and water authorities may insist on particular types of systems which treat your waste to a higher standard.

If I build an addition to my home; do I need to change my waste-water treatment system?

If your addition is likely to increase the potential number of bedrooms or is not functioning correctly Council is obligated to ensure that the wastewater treatment system meets potential needs.  You will need to apply for a permit to alter your septic system(PDF, 281KB) in this case.