Septic tanks

Onsite Wastewater Management Systems (Septic Tanks)

If you are constructing or renovating a building you will need to ensure that wastewater from your property treated and disposed of safely. Properties that do not have access to main sewer are required to use an onsite wastewater management system (also called a septic tank system).

If you are planning to install a new or alter an existing septic system on your property you must apply for a permit.

*Please note - some building renovations or alterations do not require a permit to alter an onsite wastewater management system. In these instances, a Report & Consent Assessment can be undertaken by a licensed plumber and submitted to council for approval. Please contact the Environmental Health Team by submitting a customer request

The correct onsite wastewater management system for your property

An onsite wastewater management system must be suitable for the size of your dwelling, and the environmental characteristics of your property.

There are numerous onsite wastewater management systems available for use. A Land Capability Assessor or qualified plumber can assist you to determine the correct system to suit your property. An Environmental Health Officer can also assist. 


Things you will need before you apply

A Land Capability Assessment

Before installing a septic system, most properties in the Wangaratta area require a Land Capability Assessment (LCA). An LCA is a report prepared by a qualified land capability assessor, who will undertake tests and research to determine the viability of your property to treat and contain wastewater. An LCA will determination of which onsite wastewater management system is for your property.

For further information please contact the Environmental Health Team by submitting a customer request


Provide a Site Plan

You must provide a site plan with your septic application form. Your site plan must show:

  • The proposed dwelling and ancillary buildings/structures
  • Septic system location
  • Land Application Area
  • Nearby water bodies and retarding basins

Provide a floor plan

You must provide a floor plan of the proposed building. For existing buildings undergoing renovation or addition, please supply an existing floorplan and the proposed new floorplan. 

How to apply

To apply for a permit to install or alter an onsite wastewater management system, the following must be completed and provided:

Please note, an application can be completed by the property owner OR a plumber, builder, etc on behalf of the property owner. If an application is made on behalf of the property owner, please ensure the owner has signed and dated the last page on the application. Applications cannot be processed without an owner’s signature. 

Applicable Fees

Upon receipt of your application we will issue an invoice for payment of the applicable fee pertaining to your permit. Please note, we require payment in full before we can proceed with processing an application.

Please refer to the below fees and charges.

Health-and-Caravan-Parks-Fees-and-Charges-2024-25.pdf(PDF, 197KB)



What happens next?

  • Upon receipt of your completed application, supplementary documents (LCA, site plan, floor plan, and fee payment in full, we will proceed with the next step in the application process. This may involve a site visit to your property by an Environmental Health Officer. If a site visit is required we will contact the applicant to book a time.
  • If we need further information or require alterations to your proposed plans we will contact you to discuss and advise.
  • Once satisfied your proposed system is suitable and all conditions have been met, the Environmental Health Team will issue your permit (either a permit to install an onsite wastewater management system OR a permit to alter an onsite wastewater management system). Permits are issued via email, unless you request otherwise. 

Before you can use your septic system

Once your onsite wastewater management system is installed, an Environmental Health Officer must give approval for use. In order to issue a Permit to Use an onsite wastewater management system, please complete the following:

  • Provide council with a Victorian Building Authority (VBA) Compliance Certificate and ‘As Laid’ plans from your plumber, ensuring all work complies with relevant standards and regulations. Aerated Wastewater Treatment Plants also require a Commissioning Certificate to be submitted.
  • Contact the Environmental Health Team to notify us your installation is complete

Upon receiving your notification an Environmental Health Officer will then conduct a final inspection of the installation to ensure it meets the criteria and conditions on the permit. If your system is satisfactory council will issue a Permit to Use. Please note, all permits will be issued via email unless you request otherwise.

You may then begin using your onsite wastewater management system.

If you have questions at any time, please contact council’s Environmental Health Team by submitting a customer request.