What You Need to Know
NSW state government laws now require that every septic system is registered. You may be wondering why this is necessary.
WHAT IS THE REGISTRATION FEE?
The registration fee is just like registering a vehicle. The amount of the fee and the period of registration are determined by your council. The details are set out in the council's management plan and sewage management strategy.
The fee helps the council cover the costs of assessing and managing the risk to health and environment of every septic system. The council has to manage the cumulative impact of all the septic systems in its area.
HOW COUNCIL SUPERVISION WORKS
Council is required to manage sewage pollution in a systematic way. This means looking at the potential impact of septic systems. Most councils are classifying systems and areas for supervision purposes. The higher the risk, the higher the level of supervision required.
The process works like this-
- Resident lodges SepticSafe application fee and may continue operating system
- Council assesses application and puts in a risk category (high, medium, low)
- Council issues an operating approval which outlines standards and conditions of operation and may include an inspection of the system.
This approval is like a drivers' licence - it belongs to the person, not the land. When the property changes hands the new owner must notify the council and obtain an approval in their own name.
YOUR SEPTIC IS CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO IT'S ENVIRONMENTAL RISK
Your septic system classification depends largely on the environment where it is located. Ts well maintained.
AS A SEPTIC SYSTEM OWNER, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR -
- ensuring the tank doesn't leak
- getting the system fixed promptly if it is not working properly
- ensuring the system is fully maintained
- ensuring it is inspected regularly (every 1-5 years)
- getting it pumped out when the tank becomes too full to process the flow going into it
- maintaining and protecting the absorption field
- obtaining council approval for on site sewage installation and operation
- paying a septic system fee and carrying out council's requests for inspections or maintenance.
MEANWHILE, COUNCL IS RESPONSIBLE FOR-
- working with you to keep your system healthy
- setting up a supervision strategy for all septics in the council area
- providing advice and contacts to septic system owners who need professional services to fix or maintain their systems
- regulating the installation and operation of septic systems under the Local Government Act 1993
- maintaining a register of all septic systems under the Local Government (Approvals) Regulation 1999
- monitoring and managing the potential overall impact of sewage pollution
- planning the future growth and impact of unsewered areas
- providing resources to facilitate servicing of septic systems.