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Safe Septics

On Site Sewage Management Systems (OSSMS), such as septics, process waste water generated from the household where the property is not connected to Council’s reticulated sewerage system.

On-site sewage management systems are like miniature sewage treatment plants.  If they are misused, overworked, or incorrectly maintained, they will fail and cause problems such as:

  • Public health risks due of people to exposure to bacteria, viruses, parasites and other disease-causing organisms from raw sewage. Diseases from exposure to raw sewage include:
    • Bacterial: Salmonella, E.coli, Shigella, Diarrhoea, Trachoma.
    • Viral: Gastroenteritis, Hepatitis A.
    • Parasites: Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Dwarf Tapeworm, Threadworm, Hookworm.
  • Insects and vermin can act as vectors of disease where they have access to raw sewage
  • Ground and surface water contamination. Pollution of ground water, bore water supplies and creek/river systems. A badly maintained septic can cause impacts up to 50km downstream in the right conditions.
  • Soil and vegetation degradation impacting useability of the land.
  • Local amenity issues such as aesthetics, odour, dust, vectors (such as mosquitoes) and excessive noise from faulty pumps.

Council’s Responsibility – Council maintains a register of all identified OSSMS in the CGRC area, and have adopted a Policy to ensure public health and environmental standards are achieved with the least intrusion of residents and landowners.

Policy & Factsheets

Council’s OSSMS Policy, inspection program and education resources aims to;

  • educate householders and businesses about operating and maintaining their OSSMS in a safe, sustainable and responsible manner,
  • reduce the number of pollution incidents caused by failing systems, and
  • help improve and protect the environment and the public health of the local community.

OSSMS Policy

OSSMS Policy 2020

Factsheet 1 – What is an OSSMS and your responsibilities

Factsheet 2 – What is a Septic system?

Factsheet 3 – What is an Aerated Wastewater Treatment System (AWTS)?

Factsheet 4 – Looking after your OSSMS. Do and Don’t Hints

Factsheet 5 – Installing or Altering an OSSMS

Factsheet 6 – What to expect when you’re inspected


If you have any queries in regards to an OSSMS, please do not hesitate to contact Council’s Environmental Health Officer on 1300 459 689.