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  July 1 2021, regulatory changes to onsite wastewater management systems for all Local Government areas has resulted in a change to the permit fee system. Most fees for septic systems are statutory fees set out in the Environment Protection Regulations and are determined using fee units. The current fee unit for July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024 is $15.90. 

Type of Permit Fee Unit Description Fee for 2023-24 financial year
Construct, Install or Alter a Septic System  Minimum fee is 48.88 fee units (for assessments not exceeding 8.2 hrs) $777.20 (GST exempt)
Construct, Install or Alter a Septic Sytem - an assessment exceeding 8.2 hrs 6.12 fee units per hour to a maximum of 135.43 fee units $97.30 per hour
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 the OWMS 37.25 fee units $592.30 (GST exempt)
Transfer a Septic System Permit to Install - when a PTI has been issued but the property  on which the system was to be installed has since been sold 9.93 fee units $157.90 (GST exempt)
Amend a Permit to Install - when changes to the plans or the system are required after a PTI has been issued 10.38 fee units $165.00 (GST exempt)
Renew a Permit to Install - PTI's are valid for 2 years and must be renewed if they expire prior to the Permit to Use being issued 8.31 fee units $132.10 (GST exempt)

*Re-issuing a Septic Permit, A Septic Plan Search and providing Septic Tank Written Advice can incur a non-statutory fee amount of $80.00 each. 

You can apply: 

Download form - septic tank system application   Download form - Amend, renew or transfer a septic permit to install application

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

Contact the Environmental Health Unit on 1300 787 624 or email