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Buying a property with an On-site Sewage Mangement system (OSM)

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 be:

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

After treatment, the end product effluent is sent to a disposal area which could be:

  • surface irrigation (sprays)
  • subsurface irrigation (trickle or drip) 
  • sub soil irrigation (trenches or mounds) 
  • a holding well awaiting collection by a tanker.

 

Before you buy a property with an on-site sewage management system

Repairing or replacing an 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 upgrade or repair costs. There two pre-sale options available:

  1. Apply for a pre-purchase inspection with Council, or
  2. Apply for a written response on the system registration from Council 

Apply for a pre-purchase inspection

An inspection is carried out by Council staff and you will receive a report on the state of the on-site system. The pre-purchase inspection includes an approval to operate for the new owners. An application fee applies for pre-purchase inspections.   

Urgent requests can be accommodated and will incur a higher fee. The inspection will be performed within two business days of receipt, provided access to the property is available. The report will be emailed to you as well as posted. 

Steps to apply for a pre-purchase inspection:

  1. Complete the on-site sewage management application form (DE066) and check the pre-purchase box.
  2. Lodge the form in person at any one of our branch offices located in Port Macquarie, Laurieton and Wauchope or email the form to council@pmhc.nsw.gov.au.
  3. Pay the application fee at the time you lodge your form. If emailing your application, call Council on 6581 8111 to make your payment over the phone using a credit card. (Credit card surcharges apply). 
  4. One of Council’s Environmental Health Officers will call the property owner to arrange an inspection.

 If applying for an urgent inspection, please advise the customer service staff when lodging the application.

Apply for a written response on the system registration:

A written response is less expensive, it provides a brief summary of Council records on the on-site sewage system and a formal acknowledgement that the system is registered. An inspection is not carried out with this option and the fee does not include the approval to operate for new owners.

Note: an approval to operate an on-site sewage management system must be completed within three months of property transfer/sale

Step to apply for a written response:

  1. Complete the on-site sewage management application form (DE066) and check the written response box.
  2. Lodge the form in person at any one of our branch offices located in Port Macquarie, Laurieton and Wauchope or email the form to council@pmhc.nsw.gov.au.
  3. Pay the application fee at the time you lodge your form. If emailing your application, call Council on 6581 8111 to make your payment over the phone using a credit card. (Credit card surcharges apply). 
 

 

 

This page was last updated on: 01 August 2019