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:
- 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.