How to apply to install a wastewater system

Application to Construct or Install an Apparatus for the Treatment of Sewage

Approved Wastewater Systems - Department of Health (DOH)

Servicing Wastewater Systems - Department of Health (DOH)

The Shire of Chittering does not have reticulated sewerage in any of its localities, therefore onsite effluent disposal is required.

Onsite effluent disposal refers to the containment, treatment and disposal of wastewater, which is done onsite at the property where it is installed.

An application will need to be submitted before the system can be installed.

The type and size of system will depend on several factors including the scale of development, volume of wastewater produced as well as environmental factors such as type of soil, in a sewage sensitive area and proximity of water bodies or groundwater.

Commercial Property Wastewater

If the premises has been calculated to produce more than 540L of waste per day, then the Department of Health (DOH) is responsible for the outcome decision of the application.

The application is still lodged to the Shire (Department of Health fees apply) and once the application is received, it will be assessed by the Health Officer who will prepare the local government report.

The report along with the application will then be forwarded on to the DOH for processing who will then send the outcome directly to the applicant. If you are still unsure and would like further information, please contact the Principal Environmental Health Officer on 9576 4600 or email

How to Apply for a Wastewater System

  1. Complete an Application to Construct or Install an Apparatus for the Treatment of Sewage
  2. Use our Checklist to collate the required plans and information needed. This information needs to accompany the Application Form.
  3. Submit the application, plans and other information to

When can I submit my Wastewater System Application?

The application will need to be submitted to at the same time as the building permit for the dwelling.

Always ensure that a site plan which clearly indicates the position of the system, setbacks etc. and any other supporting documentation is attached to the application.

When can I install the system?

The system for a dwelling can be installed once approval has been granted by the Shire and for commercial premises once approval has been received from Department of Health.

What system can I install on my property?

There are several different types of systems all with their own unique advantages and disadvantages. In some cases, there may be restrictions on the type of system permitted usually due to environmental factors but in other cases it is a matter of personal preference.

  • Properties located in sewage sensitive areas can apply for secondary treatment system or alternative treatment systems as per Council’s Nutrient Removal Effluent Disposal Systems Policy. If a primary system is to be applied for a site and soil evaluation is to be conducted as per Council Policy. Please contact the Shires Health team for further information.
  • Properties located in Muchea, Bindoon Vista and Wildflower Ridge can only apply for secondary treatment systems to be installed.
  • Properties outside sewage sensitive areas can apply for any type of system.

Can I install my wastewater system without/before getting approval?


It is an offence to commence construction or installation of any wastewater system without an approval from either the Local Government or Department of Health. Wastewater systems which have been installed without approval cannot be approved retrospectively. If approval is sought after a system has been installed – the system is required to be removed and an application must be lodged prior to commencing the reinstalment.

When can I use the wastewater system?

You cannot use/move into a residence until a final inspection has been completed by the Environmental Health Officers and a permit to use the system has been issued. This must be arranged prior to occupation of the dwelling. It is the responsibility of the installer of the effluent system (septic tank or ATU) to arrange for this inspection.

Prior to inspection, please ensure that:

  • Power is available and connected to the pump and alarm (if a pump and alarm have been installed).
  • The tanks have been filled with water for at least 24 hours before inspection.
  • The lids to the units have either been removed or opened.
  • The pipe work into the tanks has been left exposed.
  • All other conditions as specified on your approval have been completed.

Once the Apparatus has been inspected and commissioned, a Permit to Use will be issued to the Installer and a copy sent to the Owner and Builder if applicable.

NOTE: The system cannot be used prior to a ‘permit to use’ have been received. There is no provision in the legislation to provide a retrospective approval.