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Onsite Sewage Management
What is an Onsite Sewage Management System
An On-site Sewage Management System is any system that stores and/or treats wastewater and disposes of the treated effluent on the same property. The main types of OSSM systems in the Singleton Local Government Area (LGA) are septic tanks and aerated wastewater treatments systems.

Changes to Onsite Sewage Management

As of 1 July 2014, we have changed the way we manage Onsite Sewage Management (OSSM). The most significant of these changes is adding an OSSM fee to rates notices and annualising the Approvals to Operate.
The changes aim to create a fairer and more equitable system for OSSM owners. It will mean less paperwork for OSSM owners, more inspections by Council, improved follow-up on systems that are operating poorly and better information for OSSM owners. We will also provide incentives for systems operating well and penalties for systems operating poorly.
Fee Structure
The previous fee structure was complicated and did not reflect the true cost to Council of managing onsite sewage management systems. The new fee is listed in Council's Fees and Charges as flat rate per system per year and will appear on the rates notices of OSSM owners. 

Onsite sewage management is a full operating cost recovery budget item which means Council charges what it costs to do the work. The changes to the fee structure are in line with how other councils within the Hunter and NSW charge for OSSM. Refer to the table below for the fees that will apply to different onsite sewage management systems.

Biller  Singleton Council Charges Hunter Water Charges
Type of Onsite Sewage Management System (OSSM) OSSM Management Fee $67.30 (Rates) Sewerage Connection Charge (Rates or Water) Pressure Sewerage System Annual Fee (invoiced) Sewerage System Charges
OSSM with full onsite disposal incl. transpiration area, absorption trench, surface and subsurface irrigation Yes   No No No
OSSM with connection to pressure sewerage installed and maintained by Singleton Council – Maison Dieu / McDougalls Hill / Gowrie areas  No Yes  Yes   No
OSSM connected to sewerage system managed by Hunter Water – Parts of Branxton only  Yes   No  Yes No
OSSM with connection to sewerage other than above  Yes Yes   No   No

Annualised Approval to Operate
As of 30 June, all existing Approvals to Operate (ATO) became null and void. New ATOs will be issued to all registered systems dated from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015.

Currently Council writes to OSSM owners requesting them to renew their ATOs. Since 2002, this has led to many OSSM not having an up-to-date ATO. This is illegal, unfair to OSSM owners who have updated their ATOs, and makes it difficult for Council to take appropriate regulatory action on OSSMs that are impacting, or have the potential to impact, on human health and/or the environment.

Annualising the ATOs in this way will make it easier to administer as all ATOs will expire on the same day.

Singleton Council
PO Box 314 Singleton NSW 2330
Ph: 02 6578 7290