Does AlburyCity share any data collected with any third-party Companies? keyboard_arrow_right
Do the AlburyCity inspections override the service inspections that are already being undertaken? keyboard_arrow_right
Council inspections do not override the servicing requirements for your specific on-site sewage management system. Council are conducting a regulatory inspection in order to comply with our legislative responsibilities to monitor and issue approvals to operate for on-site sewage management systems.
As previously advised, the frequency of inspections is dependent upon the outcome of the initial inspection and risk assessment.
- A low risk system could mean only one routine Council inspection every 15 years.
- A medium risk system could mean only one routine Council inspection every 10 years.
- A high risk system could mean only one routine Council inspection every 5 years.
These timeframes are anticipated unless a complaint is received that requires immediate follow-up from a public health/risk to community perspective.
Does Albury City Council have liability insurance? keyboard_arrow_right
Yes. Current Public and Products Liability Insurance to the value of $20,000,000
What is the Australian Standard that applies? keyboard_arrow_right
The Australian Standards are AS/NZS 1547-2012 On-site domestic wastewater management.
What performance Australian Standard are referred to for the risk ratings? keyboard_arrow_right
The performance standards for on-site sewage management systems are located within the NSW Local Government Regulation 2021 (subdivisions 3-7).
The NSW Environment & Health Protection Guidelines for On-site Sewage Management for Single Households can be found here: Environment & Health Protection Guidelines - On-site Sewage Management for Single Household (nsw.gov.au)
Do Safe Work Method Statements apply for the On-Site Sewerage System inspections? keyboard_arrow_right
No. Under the Work Health Safety Regulation 2017 there is no requirement for Council to have Safe Work Method Statement for this activity as it is not classified as high-risk construction work.
What is the section of the Local Government (General) regulation 2021 which requires AlburyCity to undertake the inspection? keyboard_arrow_right
Council is required to carry out an inspection to assess an onsite sewage management system with a view to determining the risk rating. This inspection will give Council the knowledge it needs to give a risk rating and issue the appropriate approval to operate as required under Section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993.
For further information please refer to the following link for the Office of Local Government Easy Septic Guide, which outlines the full responsibilities of Council’s and owners of onsite sewage systems. Septic Safe - The Easy Septic Guide (nsw.gov.au)
What are the fees for inspection and approval to operate? keyboard_arrow_right
The Inspection fee ($155) and Approval to Operate fee ($410) already exist within the AlburyCity’s fees and charges framework. They have yet to be applied because there has been no inspection program in place.
The Approval to Operate fee is being waived for existing systems.
As a part of the first round of inspections, owners will receive an approval for a length of time (5, 10 & 15 years) based on their risk rating.
The fee for the on-site sewage management (OSSM) system inspections aligns with Councils other health inspection fees (such as for food, skin penetration, public pool and cooling tower inspection). The amount has also been benchmarked against our neighbouring councils, with some Councils attaching on-site sewer related fees to the rates notice of properties with septic systems. Council considers the fee for service a fairer approach and more consistent with other health inspection fees. Especially if, for example, the system is rated as low risk and the inspection is only required every 15 years.
How often will the inspections take place? keyboard_arrow_right
The frequency of inspections is dependent upon the outcome of the initial inspection and risk assessment. For example, on-site sewage management systems that have good buffer distances, are identified as having been serviced at regular intervals and are performing well (based on the reports from the service agent to which you refer), may be categorised as low risk and subject to less inspections by Council.
- A low-risk system could mean only one routine Council inspection every 15 years.
- A medium-risk system could mean only one routine Council inspection every 10 years.
- A high-risk system could mean only one routine Council inspection every 5 years.
These timeframes are anticipated unless a complaint is received that requires immediate follow-up from a public health / risk to community perspective.
Decommissioning of OSSM systems will be required when:
- The property is connected to reticulated sewer, or
- An old OSSM system is replaced with a new one
In these instances, the owner is required to contact Council regarding decommissioning of the system. The owner must decommission the system in accordance with Council’s requirements to prevent any future safety, environmental or public health risks. Council can provide information on the steps that need to be followed to decommission an OSSM system.
Assessment of Risk and Inspection Frequency keyboard_arrow_right
All properties with existing OSSM systems within AlburyCity LGA will receive a risk assessment rating evaluation to identify site features and constraints. Properties will be allocated a risk level of either high, medium, or low depending on the potential public health or environmental risks. The main considerations in determining risk include:
- Location and size of the land
- Drinking water catchment areas
- Groundwater bores on-site or nearby
- Permanent and intermittent surface waterways and stormwater drainage channels
- Effluent land application method
- Commercial and public businesses
- System design, condition and observed performance
- The amount of wastewater generated
- Soil type
- Vegetation coverage
- Slope of the land
- Distance to watercourses, drains and property boundaries
- Surface or subsurface discharge of effluent, and
- Risk of flooding
Based on site features and constraints, a risk rating will be issued for your system and will determine inspection frequency and approval to operate period.
Environmental health complaints and concerns about OSSM systems keyboard_arrow_right
If you are experiencing problems with the operation of an OSSM system on a property within AlburyCity's Local Government area, you are encouraged to approach Council with your concerns or for further information.
Council encourages you to attempt to resolve the issue through appropriate methods (such as consulting your regular servicing agent). If this is unsuccessful, please contact Council.
Council will respond to your complaint, keeping your details confidential. Complaints about contamination of surface water or spray drift should be reported to Council urgently. Complaints about odour problems are also investigated, since this may be an early sign of mismanagement or system failure.
In circumstances where a complaint is received for an OSSM system, Council will respond and investigate in accordance with Council’s Compliance and Enforcement Policy and Compliance Priorities Program.