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Advanced Enviro-septic system- Clarification of approval requirements

April 8, 2016
Waste Water

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Dear Environmental Health Officer,

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) advises that installation of the Advanced Enviro-septic system (AES) as part of a wastewater treatment system will require EPA approval for the entire treatment system.

Previously, EPA had advised Chankar Environmental Pty Ltd that as the AES was a component of, rather than a complete septic tank system, it would not require EPA approval. This advice did not reflect the implications in the event individuals applied to municipal councils to install the product.

As you would be aware, under section 53M(7)(a) of the Environment Protection Act 1970 (the Act) a municipal council must refuse to issue a permit in respect of a proposed septic tank system if it is not of a type approved by EPA.

EPA’s ability to approve a type of septic tank system is contingent on whether the proposed product meets the definition of ‘septic tank system’ in section 53J of the Act: ‘a system for the bacterial, biological, chemical or physical treatment of sewage, and includes all tanks, beds, sewers, drains, pipes, fittings, appliances and land used in connection with the system’.

As this definition clarifies, a septic tank system encompasses an entire system made up of all its components. EPA cannot assess and approve an individual component of the system.

EPA has since advised Chankar Environmental Pty Ltd the installation of AES as part of a wastewater treatment system will require EPA approval for the entire treatment system.

Please be aware of this clarification and update your records accordingly.

For further information, you can visit our onsite wastewater web page.

Yours sincerely,
Tim Faragher

Manager, Development Assessments Unit
Environment Protection Authority Victoria