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AlburyCity On-Site Sewage Management (OSSM) Plan & FAQs

On-Site Sewage Management (OSSM) Plan

Albury City Council’s On-Site Sewage Management (OSSM) Plan has been developed in accordance with the requirements of the NSW Office of Local Government following regulatory reforms in 1998. These reforms required Local Government to regulate and supervise the performance of OSSM systems more effectively.

The OSSM Plan and subsequent guidelines outlines Council’s monitoring program to assist property owners to maintain their OSSM system in a satisfactory operating condition.

FAQs

  • Council's Public Health & Compliance Department does not share any data from our On-Site Sewage Management Register with external organisations.

  • 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.

  • Yes. Current Public and Products Liability Insurance to the value of $20,000,000

  • The Australian Standards are AS/NZS 1547-2012 On-site domestic wastewater management.

  • 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)

  • 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.

  • 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)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Compliance keyboard_arrow_right

    When lodging an OSSM application to Council to install, construct or alter an OSSM system or a development application in a non-sewered area, the designer and/or consultant is to comply with or refer to the following documents:

    • Local Government Act 1993
    • Local Government (General) Regulation 2021
    • Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997
    • AlburyCity On-Site Sewage Management Plan
    • Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979
    • Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000
    • Public Health Act 2010
    • NSW Plumbing and Drainage Act 2011 No 59
    • NSW Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2017
  • Guidelines and Standards keyboard_arrow_right
    • Environment and Health Protection Guidelines 1998
    • AS/NZS 1546:1 – Septic tanks
    • AS/NZS 1546:2 – Waterless composting toilets
    • AS/NZS 1546:3 – Secondary treatment systems
    • AS/NZS 1546:4 – Domestic greywater treatment systems
    • AS/NZS 1547 - On-site domestic wastewater management
    • AS/NZS 3500:2012 Plumbing and drainage
    • Plumbing Code of Australia 2016
    • Building Code of Australia
    • Environment & Health Protection Guidelines: On-Site Sewage Management for Single Households
    • NSW Guidelines for Greywater Reuse in Sewered, Single Household Residential Premises
    • AlburyCity Development Control Plan 2010