On-site Wastewater Management Systems

septic tank

On-site wastewater management systems (OWMS), including septic tank systems, are used on residential, community and businesses premises where reticulated sewer services are unavailable.

On-site wastewater treatment systems must perform effectively and be well managed to minimise risks to public health and the environment.

Permit Requirements

A permit from council is required to construct, install or alter an OWMS with a design or actual flow rate of sewage not exceeding 5000L on any day.

Application to install or alter an OWMS(PDF, 185KB)

Application to transfer-renew-amend existing OWMS permit(PDF, 370KB)

There are a number of things required before lodging an OWMS permit application with Council. Some of these include:

  • Site plans which include OWMS design and location
  • Floor plans of the dwelling or premises
  • Land Capability Assessment (if determined by Council to be necessary)
  • Planning permit (if required)

Permit Fees

Fees for OWMS permit applications are prescribed under the Environment Protection Regulations 2021.

Fee Type

Fee unit

Fee amount

Construct/install/alter OWMS(regulation 196(1)(b), (2))



Minor Alteration to OWMS (regulation 196 (1)(a), (3))



Transfer a permit (regulation 197)



Amend a permit (regulation 198)



Renew a permit (regulation 200)




Land Capability Assessments

In unsewered areas, a land capability assessment (LCA) should be undertaken for each site that requires the installation of an OWMS, unless Council is satisfied that the site is low risk or sufficient information has already been gathered about the site.

Individual land owners or developers (not EPA or Councils) are responsible for engaging a suitably qualified and experienced professional to undertake a LCA for unsewered developments or subdivisions. The Victorian Land Capability Assessment Framework, 2014 provides further guidance.


Operating and Maintaining an OWMS

OWMS have the potential for major environmental and human health risks. Poorly installed or maintained systems, particularly old legacy systems, can create serious hazards. These might include polluted drinking water, contaminated land and water bodies, and offensive odours.

Owners and occupiers have a responsibility to minimise these risks, so far as reasonably practicable. Read more about OWMS and wastewater on the EPA website .

Landowners or occupiers who do not comply with duties and obligations under the EP Act or Regulations, may receive a penalty.

Please contact the Environmental Health Team on 1300 656 564 or moyne@moyne.vic.gov.au for further information.