Blue Mountains City Council

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On Site Sewage Management

Introduction

In this section you will find general information on the septic safe programme, connection to sewer, types of systems, grey water usage, pollution, and the protection of groundwater.

In 1999 poorly managed septic systems were identified as being a major contributing factor in several cases of hepatitis, and food safety crisis. Additionally, leaking septic effluent can contaminate groundwater supplies, soils and vegetation, as well as surface waters potentially leading to recreational areas such as swimming holes. Badly managed septics can cause human health and environmental hazards up to 50kms downstream of the system.

This hazard identification spurred the launch of the 'Septic Safe Programme', for which Local Council is the regulator.

For any property owners or occupants operating or using an on site waste water management system, the Department of Local Governments 'Septic Safe Guide' should be read, and may be downloaded at right.

Approvals to Operate are an integral part of the programme, and must be attained from Council in accordance with the Local Government (General) Regulation: 2005, for the operation and use of any Sewage Management Facility (SMF). Approvals to operate will only be issued to systems that have been 'Accredited' by the Department of NSW Health.

A current list of accredited facilities can be viewed on the Department's website: www.health.nsw.gov.au.

Relevant legislation and regulations can be read online at: www.legislation.nsw.gov.au.

Users and operators of Sewage Management Facilities should ensure that their household water usage is moderated and stringently monitored to prevent overloading the system pre-maturely. Additionally, chemical agents such as bleaches / ammonias should be avoided, and household cleaning products low in sodium and phosphorus should be selected for use.

Remember - when it comes to operation of an on site waste water management system, one ounce of prevention is equal to one tonne of cure.

For any further questions related to on site sewage, grey water, connection to sewer, pollution or groundwater; please do not hesitate to contact one of Councils Environmental Health Officers on (02) 4780 5000.