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Septage or septic tank sludge is a by-product from the storage of household wastewater in a septic tank.

Under the Health Act (1911) Local Government Authorities (LGAs) are responsible for the acceptance and disposal of septage and can charge ratepayers for this service. Septage must be disposed of in a dedicated disposal facility.

Do we accept septage?

We only accept septage under exceptional circumstances or if there is an emergency. Our wastewater treatment plants are designed, operated and licensed to treat domestic wastewater for disposal or reuse.

The composition of wastewater is very different to septic sludge, and the introduction of sludge can significantly impact the treatment process, or cause it to fail.

LGAs or other parties wishing to dispose of a small volume of septage at a Water Corporation facility must seek permission from us in advance. It is important any septage disposal to Water Corporation treatment plants is authorised. A suitable assessment has to be made and health and safety risks properly assessed on a case-by-case basis.

What do I need to do?

If you are aware of any ongoing or unauthorised disposal to Water Corporation facilities, please advise us immediately on 13 13 75.

Organisations currently involved in disposal of septage at a Water Corporation facility must contact 13 13 75 for authorisation prior to disposal.

Other safe disposal options

We recommend septage is disposed of in purpose-built facilities. Facilities that accept septage must have a:

  • Department of Water and Environmental Regulation Licence
  • Tanker receival facility
  • Legal agreement with the tanker contractors

For further information about your nearest approved septage facility, contact your Local Government Authority in the first instance.