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On-site sewerage facilities are used for the treatment of domestic sewage on premises in unsewered areas.
An on-site sewerage facility is a facility on a premises for treating, storing and disposing of sewage generated on the premises. An on-site sewerage facility may include:
Where an on-site sewerage facility is to be installed, a plumbing application must be made to the local government.
The requirements for an on-site sewerage facility are provided under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2003 (PDA), the Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code (QPW Code) and its referenced Australian Standards, these being:
An application for an on-site sewerage facility must be assessed by the local government in accordance with the QPW Code (Parts 1 and 3), which includes the siting of the facility and layout of the land application area. In assessing a plumbing application for an on-site sewerage facility, the local government may also attach conditions to its approval. For example, this could include:
In addition to the local government’s approval, under the PDA a treatment plant must also have a chief executive approval issued by the Department of Housing and Public Works (department) before it can be installed. Generally, the chief executive approval is obtained by the manufacturer of each treatment plant model. The following types of treatment plants currently require a chief executive approval:
A chief executive approval is required for treatment plants designed to treat sewage for less than 21 equivalent persons. For treatment plants designed to service 21 or more equivalent persons approval must be obtained from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection prior to installation.
A chief executive approval is not required for:
the land application area, and
The department assesses the treatment plant’s performance. To receive a chief executive approval, the manufacturer must undertake testing with an accredited testing agency and present the results to the department to demonstrate that the treatment plant meets the minimum water quality criteria specified under the QPW Code. A list of approved treatment plants is available on the department’s website via the link On-site sewerage facilities. Local governments are advised to use this approved list for guidance when assessing a plumbing permit for an on-site sewerage facility that includes a treatment plant.