Septic Tank Permits

A permit is required before commencing alterations or installation of any Onsite Wastewater Management Systems (OWMS), commonly referred to as septic systems.

Do I need a permit?

Under the Environment Protection Act 2017 the Mornington Peninsula Shire is responsible for assessing and approving A20 OWMS permit applications. A permit will be required to construct, install or alter an OWMS with a design or actual flow rate of sewage not exceeding 5000 L on any day within un-sewered areas of the Mornington Peninsula.

If the OWMS will treat more than 5,000 Litres per day, please contact the Environment Protection Authority.

To find out if sewer is available to your property, please contact South East Water.

How to apply for a Permit

To apply for a permit to alter or construct a septic tank system, you can download and complete the Septic Application form. This can then be returned to and paid for at any of the Shire Offices. Alternatively, you may wish to pay over the phone and email the form. To make payment please call 1300 850 600. Please allow up to 42 working days for the processing of a permit application to alter or install a septic tank system.

Download: Septic-Application-Form(PDF, 215KB)

The current fees for an application to install or alter a septic system are in the Shire's Environmental Health Fee Schedule(PDF, 156KB)

These fees are statutory and set by the EPA - $747 for new installation and $570 for minor alterations. The base fee for a new application is 8.2 hours of officer time. A fee of $92 will apply for each additional hour of processing time after 8.2 hours.

Request a Final Inspection

The Permit to Install does not allow the septic tank system to be used.  After the installation has been completed, a final inspection needs to be conducted by an Environmental Health Officer prior to issuing the Permit to Use. Once this permit has been issued can the septic tank be used. To organise a final inspection of a septic tank, download and complete the Final Inspection Request form. This can then be returned to the Shire in person, by mail or email.

Download: Request for Septic Final Inspection(PDF, 44KB)

Illegal use of a septic tank system (i.e. without a Council permit) may result in enforcement action. It is also a requirement that a permit to use a septic tank system must be issued prior to a building surveyor issuing a Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Final Inspection, as governed by the Building Act, 1993. 

Installation Requirements

The installation or alteration of an OWMS must comply with relevant legislation and guidance.

The Shires Wastewater Management Installation Guidelines and Wastewater Management Policy provide guidance on the installation and management of an OWMS.

Download: Wastewater Management Installation Guidelines Updated 2023(PDF, 2MB)

Waste Water Management Policy

Further information can be found on the Environment Protection Authority website:

Commercial Premises

If the wastewater system will discharge less than 5,000 Litres per day, please contact the Environmental Health Team on 5950 1373 or email

If the wastewater system will discharge more than 5,000 Litres per day, please contact the Environment Protection Authority.