The South Australian Public Health (Wastewater) Regulations 2013 and the SA On-site Wastewater Systems Code stipulate the requirements for treatment and disposal of waste on properties not serviced by SA Water. Anyone intending to install a new onsite wastewater system or alter an existing one needs to comply with these Regulations and Code.
Key changes from previous legislation:
Below are links to the Regulations and Code for onsite wastewater systems:
Anyone wishing to install a new onsite wastewater system or undertake alterations to an existing system need to apply to Council, refer below for application form and fees schedule. In almost every case a wastewater engineer’s report needs to accompany the application. The exception being where onsite disposal is not involved, i.e. a septic tank and holding tank installation, or where the disposal component is not to be altered. Holding tanks are only permitted as a solution to servicing existing allotments where no alternatives are feasible.
The relevant section of the South Australian On-site Wastewater Systems Code has been provided below for your reference.
In terms of the Service Report you will need to refer to AS/NZS 1547:2012.
11 Operation and Maintenance
All on-site wastewater systems require ongoing operation and maintenance to ensure that the design performance of the system is achieved for its expected life. If not operated and maintained correctly, on-site wastewater systems will fail to comply with approved performance criteria which increases the risk to public and environmental health.
11.2 Operation and maintenance manuals
The designer, manufacturer and/or installer must prepare operation and maintenance manuals for all aspects of the on-site wastewater system. The designer, manufacturer and/or installer must ensure that operation and maintenance manuals are provided to all operators of an on-site wastewater system at the time of installation or on occupation of the premises.
Further information is provided in chapter 12.
For assistance in preparing operation and maintenance guidelines, refer to AS/NZS 1547. The relevant authority may request copies of the documents.
11.3 Maintenance and servicing
Owners/operators of on-site wastewater systems shall ensure that they hold maintenance and service contracts for their on-site wastewater systems, where applicable under the conditions of approval. Owners/operators shall ensure that all maintenance and servicing is undertaken by an appropriately trained person with experience in servicing wastewater systems (see section 11.4).
Owners/operators must ensure that:
11.3.2 Relevant authority
The local council may choose to undertake septic tank desludging (particularly in areas with a CWMS) and/or provide maintenance services through a contractor or other agents (see appendix F).
The relevant authority reserves the right to request that owners and/or service agents provide copies of maintenance/servicing contracts and reports.
11.3.3 Primary treatment tank/septic tank sludge disposal
Primary treatment tank/septic tank desludging must be carried out by an EPA licensed contractor, and sludge shall be disposed of in accordance with the South Australian Biosolids Guidelines.
See chapter 11.6 of this Code for further information.
Note: This clause applies only to the contents of primary treatment tanks and septic tanks and does not apply to holding tank wastewater.
11.3.4 Holding tank wastewater disposal
Holding tank wastewater must be disposed of by an EPA licensed contractor at a wastewater treatment plant or wastewater treatment lagoon, as approved by the relevant authority and in accordance with that relevant authority's requirements.
11.4 Service providers
AWTS servicing must be undertaken by an appropriately trained person. This person must have completed a training course as specified by the DHA. Additionally, manufacturers may require these service providers to undertake further training specific to their particular units. In the first instance, service providers should contact the manufacturers to confirm individual system servicing requirements.
Servicing must be undertaken in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and the conditions of the relevant authority's approval.
Service providers must forward a copy of each service record to the relevant authority and notify that authority if they cease to service the system.
11.4.1 Availability of service
Emergency service should be provided within 24 hours of a service request at all times.