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Wollongong City Council

Onsite Sewage Systems

If your property can’t connect to the Sydney Water sewer network you’ll need an onsite sewage management system.

Before installing, using or making changes to an onsite sewage system, you need to get approval from Council.

You must keep your onsite sewage system in good working order to protect the health of people and the environment.

Types of onsite sewage systems

There are many types of on-site sewage management systems. You can find information about common types of systems on the NSW Health website.

Planning rules and a guide to selecting an onsite sewage management system can be found in the Wollongong Development Control Plan. (Chapter E8) PDF, 273.16 KB

Because there are many things you need to consider, it’s recommended you get a professional to help you choose a system.

The main types of approval you might need for an onsite sewage system are:

  • An accreditation number from NSW Health
  • Council approval to install and operate a new system.
  • Council approval to keep operating an existing system. This needs to be updated at least every three years.

Application forms for Council approval can be found at the bottom of this page.

Make sure you have the following information ready before you apply to Council for approval to install or operate an on-site sewage system.

  • An accreditation number from NSW Health
  • The full manufacturer’s specifications for your system
  • Scaled plans of the system, including vertical section
  • For a pump-out system, a basic site layout showing the distance to builidings, infrastructure and ease of access
  • For non pump-out systems, a site plan at 1:200 scale showing:
    • Property boundaries, buildings and other infrastructure like paths, decking, retaining walls, pools, etc
    • Physical features of the site such as rock outcrops, vegetations, watercourses (including drainage lines and dams), and slope magnitude and direction
    • The location of any existing and proposed new effluent management infrastructure, including tanks, disposal ares, Effluent Application Field (EAF) and Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) areas
    • The disposal field layout within the EAF area, showing buffer distances to any relevant features on the site
    • The location of test pits within the EAF.
  • For non pump-out systems, an Onsite Wastewater Management Report that includes:
    • A description of the soil depth, type, stability, presence of acid sulphate soils and drainage
    • Water table level
    • Average land slope
    • Flood levels
    • Site drainage
    • Environmentally Sensitive Areas
    • Physical description of the treatment system and the suitability of the disposal or recycling option based on the Rapid Evaluation Procedure for On-Site Wastewater Management. You can find details of this evaluation process in the Wollongong Development Control Plan. (Ch E8)

Council regularly inspects on-site sewage systems to make sure they’re working properly and keep approvals updated.

Council can also require owners of onsite sewage systems to get soil or groundwater analyses.

You have to keep your on-site sewage system in good working order. See our Maintaining Onsite Sewage Systems page for more information.

Apply for approval

You can also apply using the pdf form below:

Application to Install and/or Operate an Onsite Sewage Management System PDF, 45.52 KB

If you need help, email or call us on (02) 4227 7111.