Building & Development

On-Site Sewage Management

On-site sewage management (OSSM) systems are installed on properties where a connection to council’s reticulated sewerage system is not available, and waste generated from the dwelling must be managed on-site.

On-site sewage management systems include such systems as:

  • Septic tanks with evapotranspiration beds or absorption trenches;
  • Aerated waste water treatment systems (AWTS);
  • Composting toilets; and
  • Septic tanks with a pump out system. 

There are currently over 4,700 on-site sewage management systems registered with Gosford City Council.

Types of OSSM Systems

On-site sewage management strategy

In order to ensure that OSSM’s are managed and operated correctly and do not pose a risk to public health or the environment, council has adopted an On-Site Sewage Management Strategy

The strategy provides information on the legislative requirements for the management of OSSM’s, as well providing a framework for council’s strategic management of new and existing systems.

Installing a new OSSM or altering an existing system

For information about installing a new OSSM or altering an existing system, see our OSSM Fact Sheet


Application to Install Sewage Management System

Plumbing and Drainage Inspection Form

Ongoing operation of existing systems 

All on-site sewage management systems must be registered with council and an approval to operate is required.

If you have an existing system that is not registered with council you must submit an Application for an Approval to Operate.

Once council receives the application form an inspection will be carried out to determine whether any works are required to ensure that the system complies with the relevant legislation. Minor plumbing works and/or maintenance may be required prior to the approval to operate being issued.

Demolishing an old septic tank

If you are replacing an old septic system, and need to demolish the tank, you will need to follow the procedures set out under NSW Ministry of Health Advisory Note 3.

Additional information and useful links

Environment and Health Protection Guidelines – On-site Sewage Management for Single Households 

NSW Ministry of Health Website

Information on Pump Out Systems

List of Pump Out Providers

Also In This Section