Why does Shoalhaven Water require my email and/or phone number?

    Shoalhaven Water would like to keep residents regularly updated in relation to the project. 

    As part of the project the Contractor will need to arrange a time to meet with each individual property owner to undertake an audit of internal plumbing and elect the most suitable location for the pressure sewer unit on each property.  Each resident must be able to be contacted to arrange a time.

    When will the project be completed?

    Council’s resolution requires that a pressure system be designed in the current financial year and construction be completed by the end of the financial year (2019/2020).

    The design process has commenced, with desktop activities nearing completion.

    The upcoming steps include detailed design activities, comprising survey work for the street mains and on property design (locating the pressure sewer unit and small pressure sewer rising main to the street).

    What are the costs for the property owners?

    Please refer to pages 3 and 4 of the Shoalhaven Water – Pressure Sewer System Policy – Backlog Sewerage Schemes. The following excerpts are provided for your convenience:

    6.2.1 Specific Design Considerations

    • Council will cover the cost of the connecting pipe work (from the on-site tank to the PSU) if it is agreed with the land owner that the PSU is to be located within 5 metres of the septic/pumpout tank.

    Note: this infers that the property owner will be required to pay for pipe work in situations where they choose to have the PSU greater than 5 metres from the existing tank.  This is not a common scenario as most property owners are happy to have the PSU located close to the existing tank.

    6.3 Property Audits

    Council’s contractor will conduct audits of the existing property’s electrical and internal sewer drains. If these audits identify defective or non-compliant system(s) the property owner is required to arrange for timely rectification and meet the costs for those works. Property owners will be notified of a period to rectify the defect(s) identified.

    Property owners that have not rectified defects by the period nominated will need to arrange for completion of their pressure sewer installation and risk additional costs at completion of the scheme (eg. pumpout + availability charges).

    6.4 Construction of Pressure Sewer System

    Council’s contractor will install and commission the pressure sewer system per the approved designs, which includes the full connection of the properties that have no outstanding defects from the audits.

    Property owners will be advised when their properties are fully connected to the new scheme.

    6.6 Decommissioning On-site Treatment Systems

    Once connected to the scheme the property owner is required to meet all costs and health

    requirements associated with the decommissioning of their on-site system. At minimum the on-site tanks must be “de-sludged and cleaned out”. Council will provide details with regard to decommissioning options and the associated costs as part of the consultation process.

    When decommissioning of the onsite system has been completed, a final inspection of the property is to be arranged by the property owner with Planning, Environment and Development Group of Council.

    6.7 Implementation of Availability Charge

    At the completion of the scheme Council will provide written notification to all property owners within the scheme of the impending wastewater availability charge.

    In summary, the potential costs to land owners are:

    • - To make their existing electrical systems compliant with current standards (only if they are non-compliant).
    • - Additional pipe work (greater than 5m) if the owner requires the PSU to be greater than 5m from the existing tanks.

    Costs to all land owners include:

    • - Decommissioning (including final inspection) of their existing on-site treatment systems.
    • - Ongoing sewer availability charge.
    • - Ongoing electricity cost for running the pump unit, estimated to be around $50 per year.

    Is my property part of the sewerage scheme?

    Please refer to the  Proposed Woollamia Sewer Map to see the properties that will be included in the scheme.

    Is it compulsory that my property is connect to Council’s pressure sewerage system?

    Yes - the elected Council has resolved to connect the properties within the specified area to the Council sewerage system by the end of the financial year 2019/2020.

    Does the connection to Council's sewer need to be inspected? And is there an additional cost for this inspection?

    Once your property is connected to sewer and the existing tank(s) decommissioned, a final inspection of the property must be undertaken by Shoalhaven City Council.

    If the decommissioning process is completed and the application for final inspection is submitted within 3 months of their property being connected to the pressure sewer system, Council will waive the normal $135 inspection fee. 

    If the application is not received within the three-month period, Shoalhaven City Council will inspect the property, however, this will incur the standard $135 inspection fee.

    Once the tank system is decommissioned, if the customer has a seep away system, do the trenches remain, or is it a requirement to undertake further work on them?

    Absorption trenches can remain.

Process Following System Cleanout

    What happens after paying the cleanout fee and the system being cleaned out?

    Upon paying the cleanout fee and the system being cleaned out, property owners are to arrange the decommissioning of their tanks, usually engaging a private contractor to complete the works. 

    The works are to be completed in accordance with NSW Health Advisory Note 3 Destruction, Removal or Reuse of Septic Tanks, Collection Wells, Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS) and other Sewage Management Facilities (SMF)

    The Advisory Note can be accessed using the following link:


    What does decommissioning involve?

    You will be advised when your property is connected to the new pressure sewer system.  This is the trigger for you to arrange to have your tank(s) cleaned out and decide on the level of decommissioning, (e.g. destroy or re-use for rainwater storage).  Refer to the NSW Health Advisory note in the FAQ above to assist. Note the tank(s) must be cleaned out prior to any decommissioning works. 

    Is there another cleanout required?

    The tanks won’t need to be cleaned out again if completed once and effluent is not again directed into the tank. 

    You should arrange to decommission your tanks very soon after they are cleaned out as there is a risk they can pop out of the ground when empty, particularly in areas of high water table.

Using the Tank for Rain Water Storage

    What are the costs involved in using the tank for rain water storage??

    Septic tanks can be reused on-site as a stormwater storage and irrigation tank in accordance with the NSW Health Advisory Note. 

    The costs will vary depending on the private contractor the property owner engages to complete the works. It is suggested to get more than one quote.

    Do customers need to advise what their intentions are for the existing on-site tanks?

    Yes. The property owners are to indicate in their application to connect to sewer if they intend to re-use their septic tank for stormwater storage and irrigation or if they will be destroyed.