Hepburn Shire Council is reviewing its Domestic Wastewater Management Plan (DWMP). The Plan, which was adopted in 2014, sets out how Council will manage potential risks to public and environmental health from the use of septic tank systems.

The DWMP is designed to protect the environment into which domestic wastewater is disposed. The State Environment Protection Policy requires municipal councils to develop, implement and enforce a DWMP.

When the current DWMP was adopted, 42% of rateable properties (4544 of 10,813) in the Shire had septic tank systems. If not properly installed and maintained, these systems can affect public health, the environment, local amenity and property values.

Property owners have a responsibility to ensure that septic systems on their property are properly operated, maintained and monitored. Council has responsibility to ensure that systems are installed in accordance with planning controls and operated and maintained in accordance with state environmental protection policies.

There are many members of the public that have an interest in public and environmental health and the potential risks from poorly maintained septic tank systems.

Owners and occupiers of properties with septic tank systems may be impacted by the DWMP as it will include recent changes to laws governing septic tank management and responsibilities and obligations as owners/operators of a septic tank systems. The DWMP will also have implications for businesses and professionals involved in septic tanks, including plumbers, service agents, LCA assessors and real estate agents.

The current DWMP is available on the Council website.

Council is calling for input from Shire residents to help guide the policy review. You can complete a short survey to help guide the policy review at the Participate Hepburn website.

The survey will be open until Friday 17 September 2021.