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Onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems are required on properties where deep sewer is not available. Onsite septic systems can be conventional systems, aerobic treatment units, alternative treatment systems or waterless/composting toilets.
Before installing any onsite system, an approval for the installation must be granted. It is an offence to install and use a wastewater system without an approval and ‘Permit to Use’ from the Shire.
All applications are to be accompanied by a soil report showing the suitability of the site for onsite wastewater disposal. A list of contractors that may be able to assist with your application can be found here.
Details of fees and other relevant information are found on the application form.
Conventional or standard septic systems incorporate two septic tanks and a pair of drainage receptacles such as leach drains or soak wells. The most common types of septic systems are usually constructed of precast concrete however plastic options are also available.
All tanks and drains are to be on the list of approved wastewater systems, published by the WA Department of Health.
Some information which may assist when preparing an application to install a standard septic system for a dwelling:
In most cases, conventional septic systems are adequate however in certain cases the Shire may require the installation of a system which produces effluent of a higher quality such as an Aerobic Treatment Unit (ATUs).
ATUs are small (‘package’) wastewater treatment plants. Due to the treatment and disinfection process, the treated wastewater from several systems may be used for garden irrigation. Some ATUs are also approved for phosphorus and nitrogen removal. ATUs must be on the approved list from the WA Department of Health.
ATUs have specific installation and maintenance requirements. Maintenance of an ATU must be through an authorised person and evidence of a maintenance agreement must be presented to the Shire with the application to install.
Installation of a greywater system requires Shire approval. To apply to install a domestic greywater system, it is helpful to be familiar with the Code of Practice for the Reuse of Greywater in Western Australia.
Greywater systems are to be on the Department of Health list of approved systems.
Applications are to be submitted for all greywater diversion devices or greywater treatment systems.
These systems function similar to a conventional system except that the leach drain is modified to form a cell, usually by having a plastic lining, whereby the effluent is forced to pass through a modified soil. The modified soil strips the effluent of phosphorus before being discharged into the environment. An advantage that they have over Aerobic Treatment Units is they do not require regular servicing. The Department of Health publishes a list of approved alternative treatment systems.
Commercial installations have specific requirements. Most commercial applications are referred to the Department of Health for approval. The Department of Health provide guidance on applications for a commercial onsite wastewater system.
If you would like a copy of the original septic plans for your property, please complete the septic search application. Shire officers will endeavor to locate plans as requested, however you are advised that the search fees are non-refundable if for any reason the plan is unable to be located.
PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285
41 Wallcliffe Road
Monday to Friday
Ph 08 9780 5255
Fax 08 9757 2512
66 Allnut Terrace
Monday to Friday
Ph 08 9780 5255
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