On-site sewage approvals


Properties with on-site sewage, require approvals associated with installing, altering and using the system. As a homeowner, it's important that you protect your health and the environment by understanding how to effectively maintain and operate your system.

On-site sewage management systems treat and dispose of waste water and are required in all areas where connection to a sewer service is not available. They can include:

  • septic tank systems
  • aerated waste treatment systems
  • composting systems
  • greywater irrigation systems

If you’re purchasing a property with on-site sewage, you’ll need to apply for Approval to Operate within 3 months of property transfer. 


Request for pre-purchase reports

Repairing or replacing an existing on-site sewage management system can be expensive and they are not covered in building inspections.  We recommend a pre-purchase inspection before you buy to inform you of any potential upgrades or repairs that may be required for continued approval to operate.

You can request a pre-purchase inspection on an on-site sewer management system or to get a summary of Council records about the system. 

Approval to install or make alterations

Section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993 specifies a range of activities where approvals are required to be obtained from the local council. These are often in addition to standard development application (DA) requirements and are known as Section 68 approvals.

You will need a Section 68 approval to install, construct or alter a waste treatment device, or a human waste storage facility such as a septic tank, or, a drain connected to such a facility or device. Applications for these approvals are lodged through the NSW Planning Portal.

Supporting Documents for Applications

 The following supporting documents will be required as part of an application to install or alter:

  • Geotechnical waste water report
    Conducted by a suitable qualified person to ensure the system is design to suit the environment and operate efficiently.
  • Site plan
    Showing boundary outlines, use of adjoining properties e.g. rural dwelling, road, reserve etc. Also showing the location of all buildings existing and proposed, and any rivers, creeks, drainage gullies, dams or environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Details of system to be installed
    Including information on type, make and model, any type of surface irrigation and details of any raised garden beds.

You will need create an account, if you don’t have one already and lodge the application and supporting information through the NSW Planning portal.

Your application will be acknowledged and you will receive a fee quote. Once fee payment has been received, council will assess your application and may request further information if required.

Council will then make a determination on your application and let you know the outcome.

The NSW Planning portal is a State Government managed system. For enquiries relating to the Planning Portal, please call 1300 305 695 or email eplanning@planning.nsw.gov.au.

Apply now

Approval to operate

  1. Complete the on-site sewage management system application to operate online form
  2. Associated fees can be paid at any Council office.
  3. You will be contacted by one of our Environmental Health Officers to arrange an inspection. 

Associated fees and charges

Residents using an on-site sewage system will be charged additional annual fees (exempt of GST) for management services. The cost of these services is not financed from ordinary rates. Fees are renewed every year as part of your rates notice.