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Protecting our public health and the environment

Tuesday 29 November 2022

AlburyCity has developed an On-site Sewage Management (OSSM) Plan to assist owners in the safe operation of sewage systems on their properties.

The Plan has been developed in accordance with NSW Office of Local Government requirements, and follows regulatory reform that requires Council's to regulate and supervise the performance of OSSM systems more effectively.

The key driver behind the regulatory reform is to ensure that systems are operated safely, and that public health and the environment are protected.

This includes:

  • Preventing the spread of disease and foul odours
  • Preventing contamination of water, and degradation of soil and vegetation
  • Discouraging insects and vermin
  • Ensuring there is no contact with untreated sewage/effluent
  • Minimise adverse impacts to the surrounding area

Typical systems include septic tanks, aerated wastewater treatment systems, composting toilets, reed beds, sand filters, biological filters, and greywater systems.

There are upwards of 700 OSSM systems registered in the Albury region.

Owners of OSSM systems will soon be contacted by Council for an Environmental Health Officer to book in an inspection to check the safety and performance of their system.

These initial inspections are required so that Council can allocate a risk classification and then issue the owner with an Approval to operate an On-site Sewage Management System.

The risk classification will consider such factors as the system location, compliance with performance standards, and any servicing requirements. Typically higher risk systems would be issued a 5 year approval, and lower risk approvals up to 15 years.

Inspection fees will be charged in accordance with AlburyCity's Fees and Charges Schedule, however Council will be waiving the initial fee for Approval to operate an On-site Sewage Management System for existing owners.

AlburyCity Public Health and Compliance Supervisor, Lindsay Mack, said the inspections are vital to ensure owners understand their obligations in owning an on-site sewage system, and to protect the health and safety of our community and local environment.

"These inspections also ensure we are complying with regulatory requirements, and we thank owners of systems for working with us as we begin our inspection program."