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Building services

Septic tanks

Council inspects sites and approves permits for the installation or alteration of septic tank systems.

If you are planning to install an on-site waste water system (septic tank) on your property, you must apply to Council for a permit.

Installing domestic wastewater systems

Planning and building permits

You must have your planning permits before you lodge your application to install a septic tank.

You lodge your building application at the same time as your application to install or alter a domestic waste water system.

System type

Your chosen on-site wastewater system must have a certificate of approval to show it meets EPA requirements. Details of EPA approved systems can be found on the EPA Website.

Land capability assessment

A land capability assessment is required for all applications that fall within a Declared Special Water Supply Catchment area.

For all other areas, our Environmental Health Officers will investigate the site to determine whether the site is appropriate for wastewater disposal. They may request a land capability assessment if they require more information on the suitability of the site.


Your on-site wastewater system must be installed, serviced and maintained by a licensed contractor.

Normal contract conditions between the owner and/or builder and/or plumber apply in respect of liability.

Approval permits for your domestic wastewater system

You cannot install your system or alter it before you receive a permit to install certificate.

Your permit to install is valid for 2 years from the date of issue. You can apply for an additional 12-month extension, but must do so at least 28 days before your permit expires.

If your permit has expired you must lodge a new application form and pay the relevant fees.

Certificate of approval to use

It is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1970 to use a wastewater system prior to the certificate of approval to use being issued. Council may issue an infringement notice if a wastewater system is in use prior to issuing this certificate.

Under the Building Act and Building Regulations, your occupancy permit will not be issued until a copy of the permit to use is obtained.

Apply for a permit

To apply for a permit to install a septic tank you must submit:

  • completed application to install/alter a domestic waste water system (download link below)
  • detailed floor plan of the building the septic is being installed/altered for
  • a block plan for the property to a scale of 1:500 or 1:200 that accurately identifies:
    • location of the house, shed(s), pools, driveway, drainage lines, underground power
    • location of proposed wastewater system and irrigation area
    • location of natural watercourses, dams, vegetation, trees
    • location of grease interceptor (GI), inspection chamber (IC), storm water drain (SD), septic tank (ST), distribution pits (DP), overflow relief gully (ORG)
    • fall of the land and direction of north
  • a current copy of title (including diagram)
  • a locality map, including details on how to locate and access the property

You will be required to pay the relevant fee. Check environmental health fees.

Please allow up to 10 working days for the processing of your application.

Locating an existing septic tank on your property

If you require details and location of an existing septic tank on your property:

There is no guarantee that Council will have a copy on file or be able to supply an accurate copy of the property’s current wastewater system layout.

Contact us

For enquiries relating to septic tanks, contact our Environmental Health department on 03 5734 6200.

This page was last updated on 15 February 2021.