Onsite Sewage Management (Septic and other systems)

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Approval to Operate Program

Section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993 states that Council Approval is required to operate an OSSM system.

All on-site sewage management systems are required to be inspected and registered with Council. When Council is in your area undertaking inspections you will be notified via mail and invited to book an inspection time.

 Each system will be inspected and once passed will be categorised into: 

  1. Low (inspection required every 6 years);
  2. Moderate (inspection required every 4 years); or
  3. High risk (inspection required every 2 years). 

Note: Commercial systems may be inspected annually.

Inspection categories are allocated based on system type, age and any health or environmental risks associated with the system.

Application for Approval to Install

All new on-site sewage management (OSSM) systems and modifications to existing OSSM systems within the Camden Council Local Government Area require the prior approval of Camden Council under section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993.

Approval is required for any modifications to your system, including:

  • External drainage (including the connection of additional drainage)
  • Tanks (including replacement and repair)
  • The disposal area (including replacement or modification to)

Approval is required to be obtained from Council before any works commence.

For more information refer to Council's On-Site Sewage Management Policy. 

If you install, alter or conduct major repairs to your septic system without Council approval, chances are you will be caught which can result in heavy fines. 

To avoid fines, contact Council's Environment and Health Team on 13 CAMDEN or via email before completing any work on your septic system to obtain further advice.

Did you know?

If you are involved in organising works to be completed on a system (e.g. an owner or real estate agent) or are involved in completing any works (e.g. plumber or supplier) you can also be held liable. It is important to ensure that you confirm with the property owner that the works you are about to engage or complete have the prior written consent of Council.

Application Forms - Domestic Systems

All relevant application forms for the approval to install process are linked below. The information sheet provided below has been developed to assist you in understanding the application process.

Please Note: The applicant is required to comply with the Sustainable Effluent Application Areas provided by Council. Unless specifically requested by Camden Council, wastewater reports will not be accepted. 

For more information refer to Council's On-Site Sewage Management Policy. 


Application Forms – Proposed Subdivisions

All proposed subdivisions within the unsewered allotments of the Camden Council Local Government Area will be required to demonstrate compliance with Council's On-Site Sewage Management Policy.

The sustainable effluent application area for a proposed subdivision can be obtained by submitting the following form.

Note: Please see Council's fees and charges (fees are applicable per proposed allotment)

Pre-purchase Inspections

Council now provides pre-purchase inspections on septic systems for a small cost.  This allows a potential property purchaser to be informed of the current working condition of the septic system you are about to inherit. 

To organise for a pre-purchase inspection permission from the current property owner is required.  An application for a pre-purchase inspection form is required to be completed and submitted to Council accompanied by the appropriate fees in accordance with Councils fees and Charges. 

On-Site Sewage Management Policy

Camden Council's On-Site Sewage Management Policy came into force on the 14 June 2022. This policy relates to all unsewered allotments within the Camden Council Local Government Area.

The policy details the framework for:

  • All unsewered properties in the Camden LGA
  • Any sewered property in the Camden LGA that is required to pump to SWC infrastructure
  • Existing and proposed domestic OSSM systems 
  • Existing and proposed commercial OSSM systems
  • All subdivisions of land within the unsewered areas of the Camden LGA
  • All development including development, modification and review applications, complying development and exempt development for new, amended or altered works on land defined above.

De-Sludging Companies

Regular de-sludging of the primary chamber of all on-site sewage management systems is an important ongoing maintenance requirement. The frequency of de-sludging is dependent on many factors, however, it is generally recommended that you have your system serviced every 3-5 years.

Please follow the instructions below to obtain further information on the De-sludging companies that may service the Camden Council LGA:

    1. Visit Yellow Pages

    2. Type in 'septic tank cleaning services' in the area of 'Western Sydney'

    3. Press search

When enquiring, please ensure the provider services the Camden LGA.

Important note: Residents with AWTS are urged to be careful when having their systems de-sludged, particularly if you have a single tank system. The internal compartments within these systems, particularly older ones, tend to collapse under pressure if not pumped out correctly. If you own an AWTS it is strongly recommended that you seek further advice and guidance from your service provider before having your system pumped out.