Site Search

What is an onsite sewage management system?

To protect and maintain public and environmental health in the Albury Local Government Area, AlburyCity Council has developed its On-site Sewage Management Plan in line with NSW Office of Local Government regulatory reforms (1998).

If your house is not connected to the reticulated sewer network, you may have an on-site sewage management system to process and treat the wastewater generated from your household or business.

The function of an OSSM system is to collect, contain, treat, and process wastewater in a sustainable manner to:

  1. protect public and environmental health
  2. protect surface and ground water
  3. protect land and vegetation
  4. maintain and enhance community amenity
  5. protect and conserve resources

Onsite sewage management systems act like a small-scale sewage treatment plant that works to treat wastewater and. If the system is incorrectly maintained or overworked they may fail and cause environmental and public health concerns.

Public Health Risks

Public health risks relating to untreated (or poorly treated) sewage include exposure to harmful microorganisms such as:

  • Bacterial: Salmonella, E.coli, Shigella, Diarrhoea, Trachoma. Leptospirosis
  • Viral: Gastroenteritis, Hepatitis A. Encephalitis
  • Parasitic: Giardia, Cryptosporidiosis, Dwarf Tapeworm, Threadworm, Hookworm.
  • Odour
  • Wastewater pooling

Performance Standards - what to look out for

In protecting public health and the environment, the Local Government (General) Regulation 2021 specifies that an OSSM system must be operated in accordance with the following performance standards.

  • The prevention of the spread of disease micro-organisms
  • The prevention of the spread of foul odours
  • The prevention of the contamination of water
  • The prevention of the degradation of soil and vegetation
  • The discouragement of insects and vermin
  • Ensuring that persons do not come in contact with untreated sewage or effluent (whether treated or not) in their ordinary activities on the premises concerned, and
  • The minimisation of any adverse impacts on the amenity of the premises and surrounding lands.