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Septic tanks

Septic tank permits

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 or altering a septic tank

Before you install or alter a septic tank on your property, there are a few things you need to consider:

1. Planning and building permits

You must have an approved planning permit before you lodge an application to install a septic tank. Apply for a planning permit online.

A building permit will also be required to proceed with your application to install or alter a septic tank. You can apply for a building permit a the same time as your application to install or alter a septic tank.

2. 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.

3. Land capability assessment

A land capability assessment is required for all applications that fall within a declared special water supply catchment area. Visit the Victorian Agriculture website to determine whether your property falls 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.

4. Indemnity

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.

5. Approval permits for your septic tank

Before you install or alter your septic tank, you need to obtain all appropriate permits.

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. Instructions on how to apply for a time extension have been detailed below.

6. 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 below.

Apply for a permit to install or alter a septic tank

Before applying, please note:

  • You must be the registered owner of the property to obtain this information. Council does not provide information on neighbour’s properties or to anyone other than the registered owner of the property.
  • Records generally date back to 1994.
  • The fee for plan and document retrieval is a non-refundable administration fee.
  • There is no guarantee that plans will be available.
  • Most physical files are stored offsite. A search for building plans can take a minimum of 15 working days from the time application and payment is received.

Step 1

Prepare all supporting documentation as listed below.

Supporting documentation
  • a 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.

Step 2

Download and complete an Application to Install/Alter a Domestic Waste Water System form.

Step 3

Return your documents to any of our Customer and Library Service Centres or the Wallan Planning and Building Services Office and pay the relevant fees in person; or email your documents to mitchell@mitchellshire.vic.gov.au and an officer will call you to take payment over the phone.

Applications may take up to 10 working days to process.

Locate an existing septic tank on your property

Step 1

Download and complete the request for domestic wastewater system plans.

Step 2

Return your form to any of our Customer and Library Service Centres or the Wallan Planning and Building Services Office and pay the relevant fees in person; or email your documents to mitchell@mitchellshire.vic.gov.au and an officer will call you to take payment over the phone.

Apply for a time extension

To apply for a time extension on your permit, email mitchell@mitchellshire.vic.gov.au or send a letter to Council at 113 High Street, Broadford VIC 3658.

Your letter must include the following details:

  • current septic tank permit number
  • address of current septic tank works
  • description of works
  • reason for the extension request and the proposed extension date.

Please enclose a contact number or email address so that our Environmental Health Team can get in contact to discuss the time extension.

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

Contact us

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

This page was last updated on 10 June 2021.