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Get a permit for a septic system

  • Any new or existing dwellings not connected to a main sewer system need to have an approved on-site waste disposal septic system.
  • We can only issue a permit for a system that has been approved by the EPA. A list of EPA-approved waste water systems is available from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
  • We must also refuse to issue a permit if the proposed use of the system does not comply with the environment protection policy, or if the site is not suitable.

Under the Environment Protection Act 1970, a septic tank system means a system for the bacterial, biological, chemical or physical treatment of sewage, and includes all tanks, beds, sewers, drains, pipes, fittings, appliances and land used in connection with the system.

Sewage means any waste containing human excreta or domestic waste water, including waste water from kitchens, laundries, bathrooms and toilets.

If you have noticed soggy soil in the garden, bad smells or excessive water, it's more than likely your septic system is malfunctioning.

Tips to address issues with your septic tank:

  • dry out your block by using cut-off or 'ag' drains
  • de-sludge your septic tank every three years
  • direct all stormwater from the house roof to a legal point of discharge
  • maintain a regularly cut lawn over the entire drainage area
  • plant some shrubs around and near the drainage area (not directly on the drain)
  • minimise the use of harsh household chemicals as these may kill the bacteria which make your septic tank work.

As of 1 July 2021, regulatory changes to onsite wastewater management systems for all Local Government areas has resulted in a change to the permit fee system. The minimum fee is currently set at 48.88 fee units for a construct/install/alteration permit and 37.25 fee units for a minor alteration permit

Type of Permit Fee for 2021-22
Construct/Install/Alter septic system $734.60 (GST exempt)
Minor alteration to a septic system** $559.80 (GST exempt)

**NB- Definition of a Minor alteration to a septic system: an alteration that consists only of the installation, replacement or relocation of the internal plumbing, fixtures or fittings of OWMS

You can apply: 

Download septic tank system application form

Once you have lodged your application we will either issue a permit or advise refusal within 10 work days.

Contact the Environmental Health Unit on 1300 787 624 or email health@cardinia.vic.gov.au

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