Septic Tank Maintenance and Care

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  • Want to know if your property has a sewer connection or septic system?
  • Looking for the location of the septic system on your property?
  • Need advice and help to maintain your septic system, in line with recent changes to EPA regulations?
  • Want to avoid costly repair bills by keeping your septic system well maintained?

A well maintained septic tank system is important to keep your family and the environment healthy.

Contact with wastewater from a failing system can harm us (i.e., cause gastro) and make our waterways unsafe for human use. If your septic system is not well-maintained, you may accidentally contribute to this.  

We can support you in maintaining your wastewater (septic) system by: 

Enquire today and one of our Wastewater Advisors will get in touch to help you.

Click here to view our Septic Health brochure(PDF, 189KB)

Enquire Now

Septic tank system care and maintenance records

It's important to ensure the health of your septic tanks system. A poorly maintained or failing system:

  • is a health risk to your family and friends
  • potentially damaging to our environment and waterways
  • lead to costly repairs and early replacement

An annual health check on your septic system is important for the care and maintenance of your septic system.  

Recent changes to the Environment Protection Act 2017 (EP Act) make property owners responsible for: 

  • Keeping maintenance records 
  • Responding to problems with their systems  


Further information: How to manage your own sewerage (septic tank) system.

What maintenance does my septic tank require?

You can contact a service agent who will check your system and let you know if any parts require replacement, or the system required desludging (commonly called a ‘pump-out’). 

Different types of septic systems have different maintenance requirements. Your responsibilities as the property owner are also stated on your permit conditions. You can request a copy of your permit and / or details of your system here

Septic tank  

  • Service tank every three years 
  • Desludge every three years (if required)

Worm farm  

  • Service at six and 18 months following installation, then every two years thereafter.

Mechanical treatment plant  

  • Quarterly service by approved service agent
  • Desludge every three years (if required)   

Tips for maintaining your septic tank system

  • Never turn off the power to treatment systems, even if the property is not your primary residence. Turning off the power supply can damage pumps and alarms on control panels won’t activate
  • Make sure your gardens are maintained and disposal fields are inspected regularly for damp or soggy areas
  • Think before you flush, wash or spray. Remember to never dispose of fats or oils into your septic system. Use only small amounts of cleaning product and bleach and only low phosphorus laundry detergents
  • Get to know your system. Check that it is working properly and keep records of your inspections for 5 years.

What are the signs my septic system is failing?

  • A rotten egg smell is present 
  • The toilet, shower or drains are slow to clear 
  • The ground is damp or soggy around the disposal field  
  • There is water runoff from the disposal field  
  • There is discharge from the Overflow Relief Gully (ORG) 

Can I switch to a mains sewer?

If a mains sewer is available, and your property has a septic system, you can connect to the sewer by contacting South East Water on 1800 720 613. 

If your property is in the area from Rye to Portsea, you may be eligible to connect to mains sewer through South East Water's ECO program

It is recommended that a licenced plumbing practitioner is engaged to decommission a septic system.