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Approvals to install/alter or operate an on-site sewage management system

If you own a property or are thinking of buying a property with an on-site sewage management system, you must have an approval to operate the on-site system. These are issued by Council and are automatically renewed every year through a charge on the rates notice. 

For an approval to be issued, these site characteristics will determine the most appropriate type of on-site sewage management system for your land:

  • soil type,
  • soil depth,
  • slope,
  • proximity to water
  • water balance 

There are several approvals types for On-site Sewage Management Systems. These are:

  • Approval to install - required for installation of a new system.
  • Approval to alter - required for changes to an existing system that is not minor maintenance or servicing.
  • Approval to operate - required for approval to use the system. New owners must apply within 3 months of property transfer.

Apply to install or alter an onsite sewage management system

Follow these steps to install or alter an on-site sewage management system on your property:

  1. Get a fee quote by emailing dev.quotes@pmhc.nsw.gov.au or calling 6581 8111.
  2. Complete the Building and Planning Application Form (DE1) and lodge it with Council. When you lodge your application, you will need to pay the fee that has been quoted to you. 
    Applications can be lodged in person at any one of our branch offices located in Port Macquarie, Laurieton and Wauchope or you can post your application along with a cheque to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, PO Box 84, Port Macquarie NSW 2444. 
  3. Council will acknowledge that your application has been received and registered via email. This email will include your application number (for example: SD2014 - 123) and assessing officer details.
  4. Organise supporting documents - such as:
    • Geotechnical wastewater report
    • Site plan
    • Details of system to be installed

    Detailed information on these requirements are available on our page External Consultant Reports to accompany your OSM approvals. 

  5. You will need to submit your supporting documents electronically. Send your documents to us with your application number reference (ie. SD2014 - 123) via our online 'Drop Box' service at https://filedrop.pmhc.nsw.gov.au/. If the documents are not too large you can email them to AppReg.Group@pmhc.nsw.gov.au.

Based on your submitted application, Council will make a determination on your application to either approve (with conditions) or reject the installation. In all instances Council will work with you to ensure you receive a positive outcome. 

Steps to install the on-site sewage management system

  1. Once you are approved, you will need to complete the Notice of Works (DE6804) form and submit to Council before any works commence on the installation.
  2. Refer to Council’s On-site Sewage Management Technical Installation Guidelines for advice on installation requirements and your conditions of consent.
  3. Arrange inspections with Council to check the works at certain stages during the installation process. Refer to the conditions of consent in your approval on when these inspections need to take place. Inspections can be made by calling 6581 8111 or emailing dev.inspections@pmhc.nsw.gov.au.
  4. Once installed, your plumber will need to complete the Certificate of Works Compliance with Technical Standards (DE6801) form and the Works as Executed (WAX) plan and submit these to Council.

    A final inspection will occur and then a certificate of completion and approval to operate will be issued. Note: The system cannot be used before a Certificate of Completion has been issued. 

Apply for an approval to operate an on-site sewage management system for new owners 

A new owner has three months to apply for an approval to operate to be issued in their name. The approval is to use the on-site system and to dispose of the effluent as approved. Once the approval to operate is transferred to the new owners, it is automatically renewed every year through the rates notice.

Steps to apply for an approval to operate:

  1. Complete the Approval to Operate a Sewage Management System application form (DE6802) and lodge it with Council. When you lodge your application, you will need to pay the fee that has been quoted to you. Once your application has been received, one of Council’s Environmental Health Officers will call to arrange an inspection.

Applications can be lodged in the following ways:

  • In person at any one of our branch offices located in Port Macquarie, Laurieton and Wauchope.
  • Emailing your application to council@pmhc.nsw.gov.au and calling 6581 8111 to make payment over the phone using your credit card. (Credit card surcharges apply)
  • By mailing your application along with a cheque to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, PO Box 84, Port Macquarie NSW 2444

Decommissioning of systems

When you connect to Council's sewer network or install a new sewage system you will need to decommission the old one. NSW Ministry of Health has guidelines on the options to decommission a system. Refer to the NSW Healths' Advisory note 3. 

This page was last updated on: 06 March 2019