If you’re building or renovating, there are things you need to do before you install or alter a septic tank – also called an onsite domestic wastewater system - on your property.
You need approval first.
- For systems that can treat up to 5,000 litres a day, you can apply through Council.
- For systems that can treat more than 5,000 litres a day, you need an operating licence and a development licence from the EPA. You don’t need further approval from Council.
Before you start installing or altering a septic system, follow these steps:
- If required, go through planning permit stage.
- Submit a septic application form and get a permit to install a septic system – this can be done alongside your building permit process.
- Install or alter the septic system (but don’t backfill it).
- Council must conduct a final inspection to ensure all requirements are met.
- Council will issue you with a permit to use the system once approved.
When planning where to locate the septic system, you should consider:
- Future use of the land – as it can’t be used in the future for other building etc.
- Minimum distances to boundaries, watercourses (including dams), other buildings, swimming pools, tennis courts and driveways. These distances can be found in the Environment Protection Authority Code of Practice (891.4).
- Where livestock is kept – as they can’t be kept on an effluent disposal area.
- Distance to nearby trees and native vegetation.
Before you apply
- Check your planning permit for any conditions relating to septic systems.
- Speak to a licensed plumber about the types of septic tank systems available and the best type of system to meet your needs. You will need to choose a system that’s approved by the EPA.
Submit your application
In your application you will need to include:
- The plumber’s details including their licence number.
- The signature of the owner of the property and the licensed plumber employed to undertake the works.
- A site plan showing exactly where the septic system will be installed, including the effluent disposal area.
- A copy of the floor plan, showing the number of bedrooms and studies.
- A copy of the Land Capability Assessment, if you were required to have one.
Apply for a permit to install(PDF, 90KB)
Generally your plumber will send payment with the application. We can also send you an invoice after we receive your application.
Cost is $747.37 (2022-2023)
After you apply
After you submit your application, if Council still requires a payment we will be in touch with an invoice.
To pay the relevant registration fee, contact the Environmental Health team on 9433 3340 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for the relevant fee. Current fees available online
A Council officer will assess your application and organise a site inspection (generally within 5-10 business days). If your application is approved, Council will send a ‘permit to install a septic tank system’ to the plumber listed on your application.
When you get a final inspection on your septic system, Council will also issue a permit to use a septic tank system. There is no additional cost for this permit and you don’t need to apply again.
To obtain a certificate to use a septic tank system you will need:
- A final inspection - your plumber should contact Council to organise this once the septic system has been installed and before it has been completely backfilled. Council requires at least two days’ notice.
- A Certificate of Compliance from the Victorian Building Authority (your plumber will organise this).
- A commission report (if applicable).
- An accurate, to scale, as-constructed site plan.
- A copy of the maintenance service agreement if you’ve installed an Aerated Wastewater Treatment System.