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Septic tanks and Wastewater systems need to be installed according to the requirements set out by the Environment Protection Authority's Code of Practice - Onsite Wastewater Management. Even when onsite wastewater management systems are properly designed, installed and maintained, potential environmental and public health risks exist.
The consequences of failing systems are diverse and depend on the type of treatment system, the characteristics of the site and the wastewater, the sensitivity of the surrounding environment and proximity of neighbouring households and land use.
To minimise the potential risks, onsite wastewater management systems must be installed with a ‘buffer’ or ‘setback distance’ to the property structures and the surrounding environment. Setback distances from primary and secondary sewerage and greywater systems are listed below.
* Setback requirement can be reduced by 50% if specific conditions are met - refer to Table 5 in EPA Code of practice - onsite wastewater management(PDF, 2MB) (page 41).