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Installing a new OSSM
All new onsite sewage management systems require an approval to install an on-site sewage management system

For new systems installed with a new building, your Development Application will need to contain an overview of the type of onsite sewage management system that is planned to be installed and where the system (including the disposal area) will be located.

Approval to Install is required prior to the issuing of a construction certificate, therefore a S68 Approval to Install, Alter and Operate form needs to be submitted prior to the commencement of construction work.

Before installing a system, you will need to do the following:

Decide which treatment system and land application system you would prefer and suits the property you wish to install it on

Consider such things as:

  • Cost – installation, ongoing servicing and pump-outs, Council approvals and inspections;
  • Ability to maintain the system - most systems require the land application area to be regularly maintained (grass mowed or vegetation pruned);
  • Permanent or holiday use;
  • Water re-use - some systems allow treated effluent to be reused on gardens or lawns;
  • Site constraints - soil type, soil depth, slope, exposure to sun and prevailing winds;
  • Buffer Distances - the land application area must be certain distances away from things like waterways, buildings and swimming pools.

Arrange for a geotechnical report to be completed

If you are installing a new or upgrading an existing system, check with Council if a geotechnical report is required for your site. New subdivisions may not require geotechnical reports as information may already be on file.

A geotechnical report is not required for the installation of pump-out systems, as these systems do not dispose on-site.

The geotechnical report will detail soil characteristics and environmental constraints. The report will recommend the best type of system for the site and include calculations for the size of the disposal area. Talk to the geotechnical consultant and discuss your preferences. The most suitable system for the site may not suit you. The system you prefer may be possible but could require a specific design.

A comprehensive list of geotechnical engineers is available from the Yellow Pages.          

Submit to Council an application to install an on-site sewage management system and pay the relevant fee
An application is required to be submitted and approved before a construction certificate is issued. The application is not usually required before the Development Application is approved however the geotechnical report may be requested to ensure effluent disposal can be obtained.

The application should include a copy of the geotechnical report (if required), details of the system to be installed, a site plan and information to allow Council to locate the property and to locate the proposed siting of the system.

Council will assess your application and an approval must be issued before installation. Approvals may contain conditions imposed by Council that must be complied with. Many of the conditions are site specific to ensure the system will operate correctly.

Obtain a full quote for the system to be installed 

Ensure that all tanks and treatment systems are accredited by NSW Health. Sand filters, mounds and reed beds are currently classified as disposal systems and do not required accreditation by NSW Health. The quote should include installation of the tank and the disposal system (e.g. trench, irrigation system). Give the installer a copy of Council's conditions so that drainage and earthworks can be included.

Council inspections will be required
If the system is being installed with a new dwelling, the building inspector will do a drainage inspection before the pipes are covered.

Notify Council when the system is to be commissioned for use

Council's Building Inspectors will do a final inspection of the system before the system is used to ensure all conditions have been complied with. Following this inspection, an Approval to Operate will be issued.

NSW Health is also involved in the on-site sewage management program. Under the provisions of Subdivision 6 (Clauses 42 and 43) Local Government (General) Regulation 2005, a local council must not approve of the installation of certain sewage management facilities unless they have been accredited by the NSW Department of Health.

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