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Wastewater Treatment System maintenance

Good management of your treatment system and irrigation area

As the owner of a treatment system such as an aerated wastewater treatment system, it is your responsibility to ensure it is well maintained and works effectively to:

  • minimise health risks to your family and the broader community
  • protect ground and surface waters
  • prevent the degradation of land and vegetation systems
  • protect activities such as swimming and tourism that are dependent on waterways.

A guide on how to achieve the most from your system


  • Learn the location and layout of your treatment system and irrigation area.
  • Have your treatment system inspected and serviced quarterly by a wastewater servicing contractor.
  • Provide Council with a copy of the servicing report.
  • Regularly maintain the irrigation area by keeping grass short and reducing weeds.
  • Have your septic tank de-sludged every 3 – 5 years to prevent build up.
  • Prevent the entry of stormwater into your system and irrigation area.
  • Conserve water by using water efficient devices in your home.
  • Check household cleaning products for suitability for use with a treatment system
  • Keep a record of servicing, maintenance and de-sludging


  • Switch power off to the treatment system, even if you are going on holidays.
  • Discharge the effluent into waterways, dams or drains.
  • Allow livestock to graze or drive a vehicle on the irrigation area.
  • Put large quantities of bleaches or disinfectants down the drain.
  • Allow any foreign materials such as nappies and sanitary napkins to enter the system.
  • Put fats oils and food waste down the drain.
  • Install or use a garbage grinder or spa bath if your system is not designed for it.
  • Pour medicines/antibiotics down the drain. They can kill the essential bacteria in your septic system. 

How do I know if there is a problem? 

Indications of a problem with your treatment system include:

  • foul smells
  • toilets and drains backing up or draining slowly
  • excessive noise from pump or blower
  • high water level in the tank
  • a wet/soggy irrigation area. 

Do not ignore the problem. A poor performing treatment system will impact on the environment and public health. It could also cost you significantly in the long term.

For operational problems with an existing system you should contact a licensed plumber or your wastewater servicing contractor.  

Further information 

For advice prior to carrying out any alterations or modifications to existing systems or the installation of a new system, contact Council’s Environmental Health Officers on 9298 4598. 

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