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Septic tank permit

If you live on a rural property, and do not have access to the town sewer network, you must treat and contain the wastewater from your household on your property through a septic tank system.

When managed and maintained correctly, septic tank systems are a safe and effective method of discharging of wastewater.

Septic tank permit process

If you are considering installing or altering a septic tank system, you will need to apply for a permit and should contact our Health Services to request an on-site inspection.

Preparing your application

If you want to install or alter a septic tank, you must first apply for a permit and pay the relevant fees. If you are building or altering your home, you will need a permit to install the septic tank before a Building Permit can be issued.

Applying for a permit

You can lodge your application, online in person or by mail.

You must include the following in your application:

  • a completed and signed septic tank permit application form
  • a plan of the proposed septic tank (completed by your plumber) that includes the following information:
  • location of the house in relation to the property boundaries
  • exact location of all plumbing fixtures and fittings
  • location of all buildings or proposed buildings, water tanks, swimming pools, driveways, excavations, stormwater drains, water pipes, easement drains, streams, dams and water courses
  • fall of land near wastewater disposal area
  • position of septic tank and layout of wastewater disposal area
  • the relevant permit fee(s) - we accept cheque, cash, credit card or EFTPOS, but mailed applications can only be paid by cheque or credit card

To apply in person, bring the above items to our Civic Centre offices.

Alternatively, you can mail your application and payment details to:

City of Whittlesea
Locked Bag 1
Bundoora MDC VIC 3083

Septic tank permit fees

For period July 2023 - 30 June 2024 Onsite Waste Water Management System fees are as follows:

  • Installation permit fee - $773.56
  • Installation hourly fee>8.2 hrs - $96.88
  • Amend a permit fee - $164.25
  • Minor alteration permit fee - $589.43
  • Exemption assessment fee - $232.15

Application approval process

We will issue a permit to install (with conditions) within 10 working days of receiving your application. You should not conduct any installation work until you’ve received this permit.

Once your system is installed, you should request an inspection by one of our Environmental Health Officers, and provide 1 working day’s notice. Our officer will inspect your septic tank installation to ensure it complies with the permit conditions. You will also need to supply us with a copy of the Certificate of Compliance issued by a licensed plumber, stating that the system has been installed in compliance with the relevant regulations.

Once we receive the certificate, we will issue you with a permit to use the septic tank system. This permit will be required when obtaining a building Certificate of Occupancy.

Advice on maintaining a septic tank

If a septic tank system fails and releases untreated wastewater into local waterways or stormwater drains, it can create a threat to public health and the environment. Below are some basic tips for maintaining a healthy and effective septic tank system.

  • Be careful what goes down the sink and toilet: no oils, grease, food scraps, paints, medicines or sanitary items
  • Use only small amounts of household chemical cleaners such as ammonia and bleach
  • Use kitchen and laundry detergents with low/no phosphorus
  • Reduce water usage through:
  • having shorter showers
  • fixing leaks
  • turning off running taps
  • installing water conservation fixtures and appliances such as front loading washing machines, AAA-rated shower heads and taps, and dual-flush toilets
  • Evenly distribute your water use throughout the day
  • Do not construct anything over the septic system or cover it with any extra topsoil
  • Do not drive or park a car over any part of the system (including the discharge area)
  • De-sludge the tank every 3 years to prevent solids from clogging it up and causing system failure

Whittlesea Domestic Wastewater Management Plan

The Whittlesea Domestic Wastewater Management Plan aims to identify strategies for the minimising the public health and environmental risks associated with the operation of domestic onsite wastewater systems (septic tanks).

This domestic wastewater management plan was adopted by Council in June 2018.

A copy of the plan can be downloaded below: