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On-site Sewage Management

On-site Sewer Management

At least 5000 On-Site Sewage Management ('OSSM') systems exist across the Shire. 

These are systems that process household waste-water and dispose of the treated effluent at the property.

There are two main types of On-Site Sewage Management systems:

Septic Tanks 

A septic tank is a water-proof tank usually located in-ground and provides treatment of sewage by anaerobic (in the absence of air) bacterial digestion of the solids. The solids primarily accumulate at the bottom of the tank, while the partly treated liquid flows from the septic tank to a soil absorption system.

Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems ('AWTS')

These systems use aeration of waste-water as an integral part of the treatment process. An AWTS differs from the septic tank in that the effluent is further treated (secondary treatment) through an aerobic biological process and disinfection, with the effluent finally being applied to land, typically through irrigation.

Photo of septic tank


Approval to Install

If you wish to install a new on-site sewage management system on your property you are required to gain approval from Council. You must submit an Application for Section 68 Approval (internal link) to install and operate a new on-site sewage management system, together with all of the required information and application fee. Please see the Fact Sheet below which is titled 'On-Site Wastewater Assessment' for further information.

Approval to Operate

It is now a New South Wales legislated requirement that all On-Site Sewage Management System's have an 'Approval to Operate' licence regardless of the type or age of the system. This means that every property owner with an on-site sewage management system must ensure that they have a current Approval to Operate licence. The property owner must apply to Council to obtain and renew their licence. Following a satisfactory inspection by Council, the on-site sewage management system is granted an 'Approval to Operate' licence for a period of two, three or five years.  

Use the following Application for Section 68 Approval along with the Annexure C6 to seek an 'Approval to Operate' for an existing on-site sewage management system.


PDFApplication for Section 68 Approval (PDF, 540kB)

Use this form to apply to Operate a system of sewage management [Section 3 Part C6] for an 'Approval to Operate' an existing on-site sewage management system, complete this form along with the following Annexure C6.

pdf iconpdf iconSection 68 Application C6 Annexure (PDF, 560kB)

Use the Application for Section 68 Approval [above] along with this Section 68 Application C6 Annexure to seek an 'Approval to Operate' licence for an existing on-site sewage management system.

PDFSearch for 'Approval to Operate' - On-Site Sewage Management System (PDF, 61kB) 

Use this form to request a copy of your Approval to Operate licence or check on your approval status. Please note that licences last for 2, 3 or 5 years.

PDF Request to Update Operator Details on a current 'Approval to Operate' licence for a system of sewage management (PDF, 156kB)

Use this form to change operator details if you are a new owner of a property with a currently licensed on-site sewage management system. 

This form is to be lodged with Council within 3 months after property settlement. 

The operator of an on-site sewage system is usually the landowner, however may be a managing agent or caretaker, for example.

Please note that an Approval to Operate licence is an agreement between the current operator and Council, and therefore a current operator must be nominated for the licence to remain valid.

This form is to be used by the installer of a new on-site sewage management system after completion of installation, as required by a Council condition of consent. 

Send completed forms to mail@wsc.nsw.gov.au.  

Warning sign - Reclaimed effluent                      Warning Sign - Reclaimed Effluent (example)   

Additional Information


PDF Home Owner Responsibilities for Backyard Septic & Sewage Systems (PDF, 544kB)

pdfpdfpdfFact Sheet - On-Site Wastewater Assessment (PDF, 240kB)

PDFBuying or Selling a Property with a Septic Tank (PDF, 99kB)

PDFWingecarribee Shire Council's On-Site Sewage Management Strategy

(PDF, 427kB)

pdfManaging Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems (PDF, 572kB)

pdfProviders Approved to Discharge Septic Waste into Council's Sewerage System(PDF, 131kB)

PDF Designing and Installing On-Site Wastewater Systems       (WaterNSW) (PDF, 6.39 MB)

Environment & Health Protection Guidelines - On site Sewage Management for Single Households

On-Site Single Domestic Wastewater Management Accreditation of Sewage Management Facilities

link iconDevelopments in the Sydney Drinking Water Catchment - WaterNSW requirements 

Last Updated: November 25th, 2019
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