Approval to Operate
Approval to Operate Program
In 1998 the Local Government Act 1993 was amended to include new regulations governing on-site sewage management (OSSM) systems. As a result of these changes it is now mandatory for home owners to gain Approval to Operate for their OSSM system from their Local Council.
Camden Council has implemented an on-going inspection program for the inspection of all OSSM systems located within the Camden LGA.
For further information regarding Councils inspection program please refer to Camden Council Septic Safe Brochure.
Types of On-site Sewage Management Systems (OSSM)
There are many different types of OSSM systems. If you live in or rent a house that is not connected to Sydney Water sewer mains, then chances are your yard contains an OSSM system. In this case you have a special responsibility to ensure that your system is working well.
For further information regarding the different types of OSSM systems please refer to Camden Council fact sheet - On-site Sewage Management Your Septic System.
The most common systems found in the Camden Council LGA are:
Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS)
An aerated wastewater treatment system (AWTS) is a purpose built system for the treatment of wastewater.
An AWTS consists of one or two tanks which contain a series of chambers. Wastewater enters the first chamber and solids settle to the bottom to form a sludge layer. The scum layer, containing fats and greases collects at the top of the chamber and the partially clarified wastewater flows in to the second chamber.
In the second chamber the wastewater is aerated and treated further by biological activity. A third chamber allows additional clarification through the settling of any remaining solids. The treated effluent is finally disinfected before irrigation can take place.
AWTS require ongoing servicing and maintenance. For further details regarding the servicing and maintenance requirements for an AWTS please refer to Camden Council Fact Sheet - On-site Sewage Management AWTS.
Council has compiled the following list of AWTS Service Agents known to be operating within the Camden Local Government Area. Please be aware that this list will be updated periodically and may not represent all agents operating within the LGA at the time of your enquiry. Please click here to view the list.
Disclaimer: This list is NOT an endorsement of any recommendation of any of the listed Service Agents. The choice of an AWTS Service Agent is the sole responsibility of the owner. Council accepts no liability or responsibility for the choice of any Service Agent included herein or for any consequences resulting from the use of any listed agent.
Conventional Systems (Septic tank & Transpiration bed)
A conventional system typically consists of a septic tank with a transpiration bed or trench.
In circumstances where the transpiration bed is located higher than the septic tank a second tank, known as a holding tank is required this allows for the pump assisted transfer of the liquid effluent to the transpiration bed or trench.
Septic tanks treat both blackwater and greywater, but they provide only limited treatment (primary treatment) through the settling of solids and floatation of fats and greases.
Wastewater that has been treated in a septic tank can only be applied to land through a covered soil or absorption system, as the effluent is still too contaminated for above ground or near surface irrigation.
For further details regarding Conventional Systems and their maintenance requirements please refer to Camden Council Fact Sheet - On-site Sewage Management Conventional Systems.