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Septic Tank Regulations QLD

On-site wastewater management system guide

If you wish to manage your home's wastewater through an on-site septic system in Queensland, there are a number of regulations that must be followed to ensure public health and safety. Now, you might be wondering; what regulations must be considered when installing a septic tank. This article will provide you with the information you need regarding septic tanks in Queensland.

Required approval and government legislation regarding septic tanks

According to the Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code guidelines, when installing a septic tank, homeowners must consider these requirements:

  • To take reasonable and practical measures to prevent/reduce environmental impact (Environment Protection Act 1994).
  • Local governments must consider the cumulative impacts of on-site land application of effluent on the environment when assessing and approving development applications (Environmental Protection (Water) Policy 1997).

It is also illegal to dispose of or release waste from a septic system into a roadside gutter, stormwater drain, water course or an area where the waste could be moved from rain.

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Design regulations of an on-site septic tank in QLD

When designing a septic tank, ensure that:

  • It is capable of treating the expected hydraulic and organic loadings from a premise and disposing of sewage.
  • In accordance with the manufacturer's instructions for operation, the treatment process will produce effluent that meets the necessary criteria for wastewater.
  • All components of the on-site system are easily accessible for qualified personnel to complete inspections, repairs or maintenance.
  • The tank is installed either freestanding, partially in the ground or completely buried.
  • The tank is not subject to external or internal loads, weather conditions and/or ground movement, as these factors can cause sewer leakages.
  • To prevent water from entering the tank from above, the neighbouring ground must be sloping away from the tank.

These requirements have been sourced from the Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code Guidelines.

Onsite wastewater management considerations per region

Brisbane City Council outline recommendations for ensuring septic tanks are maintained sufficiently. Brisbane requires septic tanks to be pumped out every 3 to 5 years as well as being visually inspected every 12 months.

The City of Ipswich council septic system management requirements recommend that the system is professionally inspected every 12 months as well as being pumped out every 3 to 5 years. The disposal area for your tank must be maintained to ensure it doesn’t get overgrown and the area must remain shaded.

To install an onsite sewerage facility in the Moreton Bay Region, the Council must provide approval. There are several steps in acquiring approval: initially, a site and soil evaluation must be carried out prior to installation and then post installation, the sewerage facility must be inspected and certified. 

After a wastewater treatment system has been installed, the manufacturer of the plant must certify that it has been constructed in accordance with the design specifications.

Somerset Regional Council recommends professional Home Sewage Treatment Plant (HSTP) servicing to maintain a healthy environment, namely avoiding the use of harmful chemicals, antibacterial washing up liquid and foreign objects such as nappies and food scraps. It is recommended to use cleaning products that don’t contain harsh disinfectants, bleaches or antibacterials.

Somerset Council also recommends professional routine servicing of your HSTP and avoidance of covering the septic tanks with earth, cement or other materials and it is key to maintain each access to the system. You are also urged to prevent stormwater from entering and ensure grass and vegetation don’t get overgrown in the disposal area. 

Sunshine Coast Council must provide approval prior to installation on an onsite sewerage treatment facility. Once approval has been gained, a licensed drainage contractor must install the sewerage facility correctly and complete the necessary inspections and certifications.

Across Queensland, there are varying processes and procedures for the installation of onsite wastewater treatment plants. If you wish to install a septic system of an onsite sewage treatment plant on your property, you must obtain local government approval in accordance with the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018.

After receiving approval from your local government, you must obtain approval from the chief executive officer by completing a Form 10 - Treatment plant approval. The chief executive officer approval process is in place to ensure all wastewater systems are compliant, safe and appropriately designed for your household and needs. 

Your local septic tank system professionals in Queensland

Are you looking to have an on-site septic tank installed on your Queensland property? Express Wastewater can provide you with a professional installation of a commercial or residential wastewater treatment system.

We work our best to ensure that our wastewater treatment services are efficient and cost-effective so that you and your family can have a hassle-free experience when it comes to wastewater treatment systems. Speak with one of our licensed servicemen about a septic tank for your home today by calling 1300 722 517 or by completing our septic tank enquiry form.