Wastewater and Septic Systems


 Properties not connected to a main sewerage line must have an approved onsite waste disposal system (septic tank system).

Council is responsible for approving septic systems for premises generating less than 5000 litres per day, while the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is responsible for wastewater volumes above 5000 litres per day.

The City of Casey and EPA produced this video so you can learn more about your septic system.


Installing a Septic Tank System

Council's Environmental Health Team must be contacted to obtain a permit to install or alter a septic tank system. Advice is also provided on care and maintenance of these systems.

For more information, assistance or to submit an application form(PDF, 262KB) contact Council's Environmental Health team on 03 5461 0647 or email mail@cgoldshire.vic.gov.au


Land Capability Assessments

An application to install or alter a septic system must include a Land Capability Assessment. A land capability statement (LCA) is a report that assesses the various aspects of a site and determines the capability of the land to sustain a wastewater system.  Council uses these LCA's to support approval of your permit to install or alter a system.

You can find a suitably qualified consultant to complete this portion of work by searching these phrases in your chosen search engine;

  • soil testing and investigation
  • domestic geotechnical testing

Council has also developed a list of local plumbers, Service Providers and LCA providers which you may consult.

The below list is provided as information only.  Central Goldfields Shire Council is not recommending any particular service or the quality of the service provided. Other service providers may be available to supply land capability assessment services and it is the applicant’s responsibility to select an appropriate service provider that is able to provide a quality land capability assessment. To find a different LCA provider search online.

Provider Contact Details 

If you have any queries about LCA's or the domestic wastewater application process, please contact the Environmental Health Officer 03 5461 0610.

Types of Septic Tank Systems

There are a number of different types of wastewater management systems.  The type and location of your land may determine which system you will have.  The main types of systems installed in the Central Goldfields are;

  • Standard tank and trenches
  • Aerated Wastewater Treatment System (AWTS or Treatment Plant)
  • Composting systems (e.g. worm farms)
  • Septic tank with sand filter
  • Grey water systems (treat grey water only)

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) approves the type of onsite systems that may be installed in Victoria, via a 'certificate of approval system'. A list of valid onsite wastewater treatment systems, along with details information on regulations and the approval process is available on the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) website.

Maintaining your septic tank

Property owners have a responsibility for the maintenance of their septic tank systems.

Your systems manufacturer will have maintenance recommendations for you to follow.  There are some general maintenance tips below.

Regular maintenance

  • Check sludge level, pumps, alarms, disposal area and pipes often, at least once a year
  • Desludge (empty by pumping out) the tank at least every three years as stated in your permits, or sooner if needed
  • If you have an Aerated Wastewater Treatment System, also known as a 'treatment plant', ensure you have it serviced regularly. Servicing is to be done as set out in the Certificate of Approval from the Environment Protection Authority and the manufacturer's guidelines. This is to be done by an accredited service agent and copies of the service report will be sent to us by the agent
  • Fill the septic tank with water to reduce odours on start up and after desludging

  • Make sure only a suitably trained person works on your system

Keep bacteria happy

  • Limit the use of germicides, such as strong detergents, disinfectants, toilet cleaners or bleaches
  • Use soapy water to clean toilets and other fixtures
  • Use only detergents with low alkaline salts and chlorine levels
  • Do not flush sanitary napkins or disposable nappies down the system
  • Use a sink strainer to stop food scraps from going into your system
  • Minimise the amount of oil and fat that goes into the system

Keep it separate

  • Do not build over or disturb the system, including the effluent area
  • Do not drive over or allow livestock to disturb the effluent trenches
  • Do not cover any of the system with concrete or pavers

Reduce wastewater

  • install water saving fittings
  • take showers instead of baths
  • wash only full loads of clothes
  • don't do all your washing in one day
  • don't run your dishwasher and washing machine at the same time

Signs your septic is failing

  • blocked fixtures
  • high sludge levels
  • water draining away too slowly
  • pipes making noises or gurgling when draining
  • sewage smells
  • water ponding in the area of the effluent (absorption) trenches
  • a lush green growth down slope of the soil effluent (absorption) trench lines
  • soil effluent (absorption) trench lines that become waterlogged following storms
  • presence of dead and dying vegetation around, particularly down slope of the land disposal area


Locating your septic tank

In some cases you can locate your septic tank by the 'riser' attached to the opening of the tank. This is normally a white plastic PVC pipe, with a cap, sticking out of the ground where the opening of your septic tank is located underground. The effluent area will sometimes remain green during the warmer, dryer months.

The easiest way of locating your septic tank system is to check the plans you received with your septic permits.  If you are unable to find your copy of plans, request a copy from us by completing a FOI request form(PDF, 339KB) or emailing the Environmental Health Team.  Unfortunately there is no guarantee that we will find a copy of the plan or that the plan we find is either clear or accurate.

Copy of plans can only be given to the registered owner or a person having written permission from the registered owner.

If no plans can be found, a licensed plumber can be engaged to map the system for you.