Sewage and Septic Systems

Onsite sewage management systems (such as septics) process waste water generated from the household where the property is not connected to Council’s reticulated sewerage system.

On-site sewage management systems are like miniature sewage treatment plants.  If they are misused, overworked, or incorrectly maintained, they will fail and cause problems such as:

  • Public health risks due of people to exposure to bacteria, viruses, parasites and other disease-causing organisms from raw sewage. Diseases from exposure to raw sewage include:

    - Bacterial: Salmonella, E.coli, Shigella, Diarrhoea, Trachoma.

    - Viral: Gastroenteritis, Hepatitis A.

    - Parasites: Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Dwarf Tapeworm, Threadworm, Hookworm.

  • Insects and vermin can act as vectors of disease where they have access to raw sewage.
  • Ground and surface water contamination. Pollution of ground water, bore water supplies and creek/river systems.
  • Soil and vegetable degradation impacting useability of the land.
  • Local amenity issues such as aesthetics, odour, dust, vectors and excessive noise.

A badly maintained septic can cause impacts up to 50 km downstream in the right conditions.  Research by the State Government in the mid 1990’s found that 20% of households in regional NSW have some type of on-site sewage management system and 70% of these at the time failed to meet public health and environmental standards.