In the City of Rockingham, areas without a sewerage system must have an on-site water waste treatment facility such as septic tanks.
Together with The Water Corporation, the local government is installing main sewers around the city as part of the Infill Sewer Programme. Properties in these areas must connect to the sewer for the time frame decided by the Water Corporation.
When Should You Decommission Your Septic Tanks?
However, property owners connected to the sewer main must decommission their existing septic tanks and effluent disposal system – should any of the following situations arise:
- There is a change in ownership of the property. Time allotted to decommission: 60 days
- There is a material change in how the property is being used – such as residential to commercial. Time allotted to decommission: 60 days
- If there will be a new building on the premises and the foundations will be built closer than 1.2m to the septic tank. Only after the septic tank is decommissioned can the construction begin. Time allotted to decommission: 60 days
- If a new building will be constructed right above the septic tank system or closer than 1.8m to a soak well or leach drain. Only after the septic tank is decommissioned can the construction begin. Time allotted to decommission: 60 days
For building constructions within 1.8m from a decommissioned septic tank, the entire on-site water waste treatment system needs to be removed. Merely filling up the septic tank will not be enough.
What is a Decommissioned Septic Tank?
Decommissioning is the process of pumping all septic tanks, leach drains, and soak wells empty by a licensed waste contractor.
Once the septic tanks are emptied, it must be removed entirely. Another alternative is to have the lids and bases of the septic tanks broken and filled with clean sand.
If an on-site water waste system becomes decommissioned, the local Health Services team must be informed. A Statement of Advice document is available, and the property owner must fill this out.
The form includes information such as the name and business name of the owner, address of the decommissioned water waste disposal system, and the specific works done to decommission with the necessary certificates attached.
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