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Property owners in Wellington Shire reminded of legal requirements on onsite wastewater management systems (OWMS) maintenance
Wellington Shire Council is reminding landowners whose properties are not connected to reticulated sewerage, about requirements under law for maintaining their onsite wastewater management systems (OWMS).
The environmental laws include obligations to operate correctly and maintain the OWMS, commonly known as a septic tank system, and ensure it does not overflow. Poorly installed or maintained OWMS, particularly older ones, can pose health and environmental risks, including polluted drinking water, land and waterway contamination, and offensive smells.
Wastewater can cause diseases so is important to take all reasonable steps to ensure the system is maintained properly and keep all system maintenance record
Under the Environment Protection Act 2017 and Environment Protection Regulations 2021, property owners of land that use an OWMS to dispose of wastewater must do the following:
- Ensure the system is maintained in good working order
- Have aerated wastewater treatment plants serviced by a service agent every three months in line with the manufacturer's specifications
- De-sludge the OWMS at least once every three to five years dependent on system use and type
- Ensure the system does not pose a risk to human health or the environment
- Notify Council of any issues with the system and the steps taken to fix the problem, a form is available at 'Onsite Wastewater Management System (OWMS) System Failure Form website
- Provide written information to renters about the correct operation and maintenance of the system
- Keep all records of maintenance activities carried out on the system, including any pump out and service records, for five years after each activity
- Produce the records for inspection on request
For more information including a video on how to maintain a septic system, visit EPA Victoria's website.
Pictures from Wellington Shire Council Facebook page.
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