Maintaining your septic tank system

It is important to maintain your septic system to extend its life, avoid harming the environment, and to protect future use of the land.

When managed and maintained correctly, septic tanks (also called onsite wastewater systems) are a safe and effective method of treating and discharging wastewater.

When systems fail and release untreated wastewater into local waterways or stormwater drains, they can be a threat to public health and the environment.

Your responsibilities

You have legal obligations to maintain your waste water system.

Your permit lists those requirements and could include:

  • de-sludging every 3-8 years (depending on system loading)
  • monitoring conditions
  • ensuring the effluent disposal area remains clear from development, impermeable surfaces, and trees and other plants (that are classed as unsuitable vegetation)
  • providing maintenance record copies to us.

If you have a secondary treatment plant you need to organise for an accredited maintenance provider to conduct maintenance checks every three months.

We can issue fines for non-compliance.

If you are experiencing problems with your system, contact a plumber for advice. For more information about managing your wastewater treatment system, visit the EPA.

More information