On-site wastewater management systems

An on-site wastewater management system receives and / or treats wastewater and sewerage and then disposes this into an approved disposal system or a re-use system.

New systems – all building classifications

You need a plumbing permit for any design and connection of on-site wastewater management systems as well as septic tanks.

Certificates of accreditation

You can fill in an Application form for accreditation of an on-site wastewater management system (manufacturers only) and download a copy of a Certificate of currently approved systems.

You can get also get a copy of a certificate of a currently approved system.

Septic tanks

A septic tank is a watertight chamber filled with household wastewater and made of concrete, fibreglass or plastic. Septic tank systems are a type of onsite sewage facility. They are in areas that are not connected to a sewerage system, such as rural areas.


You must have a controlled waste transport business to pump out a septic tank, grease trap, trade waste or do similar maintenance.

Aerated wastewater treatment systems

An aerated wastewater treatment system takes normal household waste from toilets, basins, showers, baths and kitchen sinks.  AWTS treat the waste and then distribute treated wastewater on site to the land application area.

Note:  The land application area is an important part of the on-site sewerage system.  It distributes the treated wastewater produced within the property.  This water must remain within the property boundary.

It is important to understand that it is not OK to eat anything that has grown from gardens that use treated water. Avoid treated wastewater to bare skin contact and contact by pets and livestock.

Buying, putting in and maintaining a AWTS can mean a big up-front and ongoing maintenance cost. We recommend that you choose a system and maintenance contractor that suits your needs.


You need a maintenance contract with a licensed plumber and to let the Permit Authority know when work is completed for servicing and maintenance an AWTS.

You need a licensed plumber and plumbing permit to replace a failed on-site wastewater management system or new wastewater land application area.

Technical information

Waterless composting toilets

A waterless composting toilet system breaks down sewerage into a safe recycled product. These systems use little to no water and are a replacement to a flush toilet used with septic systems or sewer systems. They are often used where no suitable water supply or sewage treatment plant is available.

They are found more often in national parks, remote holiday cottages and off-grid homes in Australia.


You need a licensed plumber and plumbing permit to replace a failed composting toilet system or new wastewater land application area.

Hybrid systems

A hybrid wastewater system is an alternative to sewerage, septic tanks and pump-out systems.  Most hybrid systems market as an environmental solution for processing sewerage.

Land application systems

The land application system is an important part of an on-site wastewater management system. The land application area is the area of distribution of the treated wastewater. Wastewater must be treated before being distributed to the land application area.

There are various types of systems available for use. Seek advice from your wastewater designer for suitable land application systems. Read the On-site wastewater land application areas Fact Sheet (PDF, 195.0 KB)

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Updated: 28 Sep 2020