Under the Local Government Act, 1993, Section 68 North Sydney Council has a mandatory role to monitor and approve the operation of all on-site sewage management systems in the North Sydney Local Government Area to ensure that those systems installed in our area comply with environmental and public health performance standards.
This legislation was introduced as a result of the much publicized Wallis Lake incident, where approx. 400 members of the public became severely ill after consuming shellfish from the region. Faulty on-site septic systems were suspected to be the source of virus Hepatitis A which caused the illness.
An on-site system is a miniature sewage treatment plant, and if it is misused, overworked or incorrectly maintained it will fail, and potentially be a public and environmental health risk.
On-site sewage Systems
If your business, home or rental property isn’t connected to the Sydney Water’s sewage system you’ll have some type of on-site sewage management system to store, treat and dispose of waste water.
Domestic wastewater treatment systems include:
- septic tanks with evapotranspiration beds or absorption trenches
- composting systems (worm farms)
- pump to sewer systems
- effluent pump out system
- Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS).
Responsibilities of Property Owners
Your onsite sewage management system’s operation is your responsibility. This could mean making changes like conserving water, minimizing use of chemical cleaners and avoiding large or sudden loads of waste water.
Your system needs to be serviced on a regular basis and you will need to have maintenance contracts with qualified providers.
It is Council’s role to inspect and monitor the operation of all onsite sewage management systems in the North Sydney Local Government Area.
The Local Government Act 1993 provides the legal framework for the management of on-site sewage systems in New South Wales. Furthermore, this Act also makes allowances for the issuing of orders and penalties.
In relation to on-site sewage management, Council may issue an order under Section 124 of the Local Government Act 1993:
- To comply with an approval (Order 30).
- To connect premises to reticulated sewer by a specified date where they are situated within 75m of a Council sewer service (Order 24).
- Not to use or permit the use of a human waste storage facility to be used after a specified date (Order 25).
- To store, treat or dispose of waste (Order 22).
Install a New System or Alter an Existing System
The Local Government Act 1993 and Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 prescribes that the installation, alteration or construction of a waste treatment device requires approval by Council.
Before a system can be installed or altered, this Section 68 application must be submitted to Council to be assessed against current regulations and standards. Applications can be submitted in person at Council Chambers at 200 Miller Street North Sydney from Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm, or download:
Apply to install an onsite Wastewater system (295KB)
In the financial year 2017-18, an application fee is not included, however from the beginning of the financial year 2018-19 payment in accordance with Council’s Fees and Charges will be included with applications to install a system.
If you are considering installing a waste water system, please note that it may require development consent. Please contact Council’s Planning and Development Advisor for advice in this regard:
- Phone: 9936 8100
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include your name and contact telephone number(s) on any email
Operate a New or Existing System
Under the Local Government Act 1993, every onsite system requires approval to operate from Council.
This must be renewed every few years depending on the risk rating of the system. Property owners must comply with conditions of their approval. It is an offence to operate an onsite system without approval from Council.
Applications can be submitted in person at Council Chambers at 200 Miller Street North Sydney from Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm, or download:
Apply to operate an onsite Wastewater System (208KB)
In the financial year 2017-18, an application fee is not included, however from the beginning of the financial year 2018-19 payment in accordance with Council’s Fees and Charges will be included with applications to operate a system.