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Can you install your own wastewater treatment system?

Planning to install your own wastewater system?

If you are not connected to the municipal sewerage system, the chances are you might have to install a Septic System or Home Sewage Treatment Plant (HSTP). However, installing your own system is tricky and must be undertaken only if you have experience and if local council guidelines permit. In Queensland, a licenced plumber is required to install septic or wastewater treatment systems.

Methods of treating sewage

There are primarily 3 types of treating sewage.

  1. On-site systems like septic systems, home sewerage treatment plant
  2. Effluent Disposal System
  3. Full Sewage System

Wastewater is of 2 types:

Grey water:  It is the water released from sinks, showers, and washing machines and can be recycled.

Black water: Wastewater from toilets that contains pathogens, faecal matter, and can carry disease. 

The sewage treatment plant processes both types of water and purifies the water to a better quality than septic systems. 

Which systems can you install?

In Queensland, none. But your licenced wastewater treatment specialist can install either a:

1. Septic Systems - They utilise bacteria naturally present in the tank and soil to treat the wastewater.

2. Home Sewage Treatment Plant -  Also known as On-site Sewage Facilities, it treats both black water and grey water and the purified water can be reused for irrigation. HSTP treats the water using different processes like sedimentation, aeration and disinfection. Unlike septic systems, this method is environment friendly and conserves water.

Can you install your own wastewater treatment system?

As we said before, not in Queensland there are many aspects, regulations, guidelines and systems to consider. Installing a wastewater treatment system is extremely difficult and any flaw in the system can be hazardous to your health and the surrounding environment. Although, building it yourself could potentially save you some money your local council would not sign off on the project and even a small mistake can increase your expenses and lead to contamination of the area.

Looking for an On-site Wastewater Treatment System? Let our wastewater experts help you.

Key considerations of installing a wastewater treatment system

Here's a checklist of things that need to be considered:

  1. Local government approval
  2. Treatment plant approval 
  3. Type of the wastewater system
  4. Size of the household 
  5. Wastewater load on the system
  6. Climate factors like rainfall and frost
  7. Permeability of the soil 
  8. Electricity supply
  9. Effluent management methods (must meet local regulatory requirements)
  10. Location and design of the system
  11. Buffer area (is applied to the wastewater system to protect the health of the community and the environment)
  12. Drainage and Plumbing
  13. Selection of the pipe - size, grade and pipe depth
  14. Public and Private Infrastructure
  15. Maintenance 

For more information on the rules set by Queensland Government, check the following resources:

So can you install your own wastewater system?

No. Looks complicated, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it is a complicated process and requires careful planning and expert installation. Without professional help, the installation process can be expensive, and can prove to be extremely hazardous!

Wastewater system installation experts 

For a professional wastewater system design and installation contact us on 1300 722 517 or book our online enquiry form. We offer free 30-minute phone consultation and our experts will give you the best advice suiting your needs. 

Can you install your own wastewater treatment system? Let our experts help you.

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Why Use Express Wastewater Solutions?


    Because we are not a manufacturer and not tied to one particular system we can always offer the best solution for your wastewater needs.


    Because we do this every day we have developed a close knit expert team for every step of the process – from plans and council paperwork to excavations, electrical and plumbing. We handle it all to make the whole process as stress free and quick as possible.


    Most people have never installed a home sewerage treatment plant and don’t know the next step, that is why we offer a free 30 minute phone consult with one of our experts to point you in the right direction.


    We handle your wastewater installation from start to finish we can deal with all the trades, council everything so you don’t have to worry about a thing.


    Have peace of mind knowing that Express are licensed, insured professionals that will do your job right the first time.


    Not sure what system is right for you, or want to know if your system is working properly? Just give one of our friendly wastewater experts a call and they will be more than happy to help.


    We will always look to repair your system rather than replace it if it does not need to be, which will generally save large amounts of money sometimes up to and over $10,000.