Many acreage allotments and small townships have on-site wastewater treatment systems such as septic tanks or household sewage treatment plants. To protect our environment, it is important that On-Site Sewerage Facilities (OSSF) operate efficiently and are correctly maintained.
Householders are required by State Government legislation to have their HSTP's maintained by an approved service agent every three months for aerated systems and once yearly for large sand filter systems. Proper effluent disposal is critical to ensure that recycled water is used and disposed of correctly without any adverse environmental or public health impacts.
"Black water" or toilet water is disposed of through the septic system. This involves a septic tank and an array of underground soakage and/or transpiration trenches. Septics tanks typically need to be pumped out every three to five years to prevent solids from overflowing and irreversible damage to the soakage and transpiration trenches. Contents of septic tanks can only be disposed of by a licensed contractor, to an approved waste disposal facility.
Grey water comprises all other household waste water, including water from hand basins, sinks, showers, baths, washing machines and dishwashers. This water discharges into a holding tank, which has a pump. If you already have an existing service on your property, you can use an above ground heavy droplet sprinkler or hose to spread waste water on to your garden. However, if you are looking to install a new sullage system, this is prohibited as the new all-purpose septics and on-site treatment plants have the capability to treat this waste water.
Hair and lint build-up in the pump well means your greywater system must be cleaned out periodically. Direct contact with grey water should be avoided by wearing gloves. The discharge hose should be moved regularly to prevent run-off on to adjoining properties or ponding, which can provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes and an undesirable attraction for children.
If you want to make any changes to your septic or greywater system you should contact Council first as most Building and Plumbing requires a permit and must be carried out by a licenced tradesperson.
All residents whose properties have a septic system should remember that their septic tank requires pumping out every four to five years. If this is not done, the accumulated solids can flow out into the soakage trenches. This can make the trenches fail continually causing wet areas on the surface and a potential health hazard. For environmental well-being, pump-outs should be performed by a qualified operator.