Fact Sheet: Clarence Town Sewerage Scheme

After the initial 6 months connection period Council will consider and may issue orders to premises not yet connected, requiring them to do so. Where septic systems are not operating effectively and pose a risk to public health or the environment Council will require connection as soon as possible after sewer becomes available.

Connection to sewer will also require the decommissioning of existing septic systems once they become redundant.  It is important that this process is carried out at the time of connection to sewer so that contractors and machinery onsite for the sewerage connection will be available and the tanks won't be forgotten and become a health and safety risk. There are two options available:

  1. Decommission and bury the tank onsite or,
  2. Convert the existing septic tank to a stormwater capture and storage tank for garden irrigation.
Decommissioning of Septic Tanks

In general terms, the decommissioning of septic tanks does not require that the tank is removed from the site. The decommissioning of redundant tanks requires:

  1. Effluent to be pumped out of all tanks by an effluent tanker operator.
  2. The tanks dusted with lime  and a hole broken  in the bottom of the tank  for drainage
  3. The lid broken and dropped into the tank,
  4. The side walls of the tank demolished to 300mm below ground level
  5. The tank filled with clean fill/soil.

Council will also issue an order where redundant septic systems remain in place and have not been decommissioned in accordance with council policy or with approval, converted for rainwater use.

Once the system is decommissioned Council will carry out an inspection of the site to ensure that the on-site wastewater tank and piping has been decommissioned in accordance with Councils policy and that no hazards in relation to on-site disposal remain on the property.

A fee of $65 will be charged for each inspection. Property owners should keep copies of the pump out receipt to be sighted by Council Staff at the time of inspection.

Conversion of Septic Tanks for Rainwater Storage (Irrigation Purposes)  

With the larger tanks that were operated as aerated wastewater systems there is the potential to convert these systems to stormwater capture and reuse. These aerated systems already have power connected for a pump and the tanks are generally larger (4500 to 7000 litres) than the tank (2300 litres or less) used in traditional septic and trench systems.

Property owners wishing to convert their redundant septic tanks for rainwater storage may do so in accordance with council policy. An application needs to be submitted to council for approval, with the associated fee of $130.00. Council's Environmental Health Officer will assess the application and inspect the system when work is completed. Please note the conversion of Aerated Wastewater Systems may be more cost effective with infrastructure already in place such as; electricity, pumps, larger tanks and irrigation lines.

Council policies:
  • Connecting to Sewer
  • Decommissioning of Septic Tanks
  • Conversion of Septic Tanks to Rainwater Storage, and the
  • Application for conversion of Septic Tanks to rainwater storage can be downloaded below.

For any other enquires please call Council's Environmental Services Department on 02 4995 7777