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Want to know a little more about on-site sewage facilities in Brisbane?

The city of Brisbane is ever expanding, with more and more residents each and every year contributing to the economy and community. And, who can blame them? From gorgeous skylines to beautiful parks and waterways, there is plenty of beauty to draw you in.

Wastewater Treatment

But, with more people comes more waste - although it's not exactly an exciting topic, it's true. Household waste is a big contributor to waste across the city, which is why it is super important to ensure you know all about on-site sewage facilities and how they work, so you are doing your bit to help the environment and your local area. If you have any questions regarding onsite sewage facilities or wastewater treatment options, give Express Wastewater Solutions on 1300 722 517 and we would be happy to discuss your household wastewater needs.

On-site sewage facilities

What is an onsite sewage facility?

An onsite sewage facility, also known as an OSF, is used for the treatment of sewage on a domestic premises in unsewered areas. It stores, treats and disposes of household waste and sewage all on the same property in a safe and secure way and is a type of wastewater treatment system.

What are the different kinds of OSF?

There are a few different kinds of on-site sewage facilities available, including:

There are other sewage system and wastewater treatment options, however the above are among the most common. The Queensland Government site has a full list if you would like to know more.

Who needs an OSF?

Any property that is not connected to municipal sewerage arrangements is required to have an OSF.

What are the OSF legislative requirements?

Under Queensland legislation, there are 3 parties that have responsibilities when it comes to OSFs:

  • Property Owner: Responsible for ensuring OSF is maintained and operates in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements and any conditions set by Council.
  • Brisbane City Council: Responsible for keeping and maintaining a register of all service reports received for OSFs in the Brisbane region.
  • Treatment Plant Service Agent: Responsible for providing details of any servicing to the Council and the Property Owner.

What approvals are needed for an onsite sewage facility?

Before an OSF is installed on a property, the owner must obtain Brisbane City Council Approval. Additionally, all sewage treatment plants (besides septic systems) must have current chief executive approval.

Need Professional Help with On-site Sewage Facilities in Brisbane? Let our wastewater experts help you.

Who is responsible for OSF maintenance?

The owner of an OSF is responsible for ensuring their wastewater treatment arrangement is regularly maintained and operating like it should. If you own a property that is currently leased to other tenants, it is your responsibility as owner to ensure that any occupants of the property are aware of any and all maintenance requirements.

Maintenance requirements for an OSF will depend on the system, however:

  • Septic tanks: Recommended that septic tanks are pumped out every 3-5 years for continuing effective operation. A visual check is highly sugegsted every 12 months to monitor the build-up of waste.
  • Secondary or higher treatment plants: Licensed service agents should be used to maintain and service these kinds of systems. They will look at the quality of the treated wastewater, as well as all the mechanical components of the OSF.

Is there penalties if an OSF isn't maintained?

Under section 70 of the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018, Brisbane City Council have the ability to issue a penalty infringement of 20 penalty units to any person who operates a non-compliant onsite sewage facility. It is the responsibility of the owner of a property to ensure all the plumbing and drainage on their property is working properly and remains in good condition.

What about service reports?

If a service report has not been received within the usual service interval, the Brisbane City Council will contact the property owner and service agent to follow-up. Service reports can be sent by post or email to the Council, so speak to the Council directly or your service provider if you would like further information.

Dos and Don'ts for OSFs

When it comes to on-site sewage facilities, there are a few dos and don'ts that you should be aware of.


  • Always ensure every lid of an OSF is tightly secured.
  • Arrange regular maintenance of your OSF by a licensed servicing agent.
  • Always ensure your disposal area is not in the shade, as this affects its ability to operate effectively.
  • Make sure you know how your OSF works and what its maintenance requirements are. Speak to a professional if need be to get a better understanding.
  • Where possible, use biodegradable products, such as toilet paper and cleaning products.
  • Make sure you know what kinds of products are safe to put through your OSF (and what ones aren't).
  • Use water efficient fixtures, as well as stagger water usage where possible (especially when it comes to washing machines etc), as this stops any possible OSF overload in a short space of time.
  • Make sure the disposal area on your property is very clearly marked.


  • Let foreign objects like cloths, personal hygiene items or nappies (other like products) to go through an OSF.
  • Let roof or surface water to get into an OSF or discharge over a disposal area.
  • Let anyone use the disposal area for recreational activities (such as storing things or parking cars).
  • Let fats, oils, food scraps, chemicals, ammonia, high-level phosphorous products, pesticides or other like things to go through an OSF.
Express Wastewater Solutions

Your knowledgeable wastewater treatment experts

If you have any further questions regarding on-site sewage facilities, or any other wastewater treatment options, give Express Wastewater Solutions a call on 1300 722 517 and we would be happy to discuss your household wastewater needs. We are your knowledgeable and experienced wastewater experts, so get in contact now!


Brisbane City Council (On-site sewage facilities):

Queensland Government (Approved systems):

Queensland Government (On-site sewage facilities):

Brisbane City Council (Plumbing Services - Onsite Sewage Facilities):

The information contained on this web page is created as general information and should be used as a guide only. Express Wastewater Solutions will not take any responsibility for any consequences that may arise from reliance on this web page and its information.

Want to know a little more about on-site sewage facilities in Brisbane? 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.