Waste Water Treatment/Disposal

Not all properties within the Noosa Council area are connected to water and sewerage infrastructure.

Non- sewered properties store, treat and dispose of wastewater generated via an on-site waste water facility.

For further information please see headings below:

  • For commercial on-site effluent disposal please contact Noosa Councils Building and Plumbing Services for information on the requirements.

    On-site sewerage facility’s store, treat and dispose of wastewater on a property. There are many brands and types of facilities which treat wastewater to different levels of quality. To install an on-site sewerage treatment facility, including a septic system or an on-site sewage treatment plant, you must first get approval from your local government. All work must be carried out by an appropriately licenced Plumber and Drainer.

    Some types of on-site sewerage facilities include:

    • Septic Tanks
    • Composting Toilets
    • Holding Tanks
    • Treatment Plants 

    On-Site Waste Water Facility Guidelines

  • Septic Tanks treat the effluent to a primary level. Septic Tanks need to be constructed and approved in accordance with AS/NZS 1546.1 2008. It is recommended that they are pumped out every 5 years.

  • Composting Toilets treat effluent to a primary level. New composting toilet installations presented for sale in Queensland must comply with the design rules set out in Schedule 8, Part 2 of the Environmental Protection (Waste Management) Regulation 2000. Despite this being repealed in 2013, it is still a mandatory comply with the repealed rules. Composting Toilets need to be maintained in accordance with the manufacturers’ requirements and any conditions applied by the local government.

  • Holding Tanks must be registered with Noosa Council and be pumped out at appropriate intervals which need to be organised with the local service provider.

    Holding Tank Installation Example

  • Treatment Plants treat effluent to a secondary or advanced secondary level and require a chief executive approval from the state government.

    Treatment Plants require servicing in accordance with the manufacturers requirements. Servicing is either 3, 6 or 12 monthly depending on the individual system.

    The servicing of treatment plants must be carried out by a qualified service agent and a service report must be lodged with Noosa Councils Building and Plumbing Services within 1 month of the service being carried out.

    A list of approved systems is available on the Department of Housing and Public Works website.

  • Apart from holding tanks the treated effluent from on-site sewerage facilities then goes to a land application area where it is disposed of. A land application area is a designated area that is set aside specifically for the disposal of the wastewater from the facility. The size and type of the land application area depends on what level the effluent is treated to and what site constraints are on the property. Within the land application area a land dispersal system is designed to dispose of the treated effluent.

    Some types of dispersal systems include:

    • Conventional trenches and beds - used mainly for primary effluent
    • Subsurface irrigation – can be used for primary, secondary and advanced secondary effluent
    • Surface irrigation - only used for secondary and advanced secondary which has been disinfected

    It is the owner of the premises responsibility to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the on-site sewerage treatment facility is kept in good condition.

    More information about onsite waste water disposal can be on found on the Department of Housing and Public Works website.

  • For commercial grey water disposal and re-use contact Noosa Councils Building and Plumbing Services to seek advice on the requirements.

    Domestic grey water is generally waste water from baths, showers, hand basins, laundry tubs, washing machines and kitchens.

    Residents in sewered and non sewered areas may discharge the grey water by means of:

    • Except for kitchens manual bucketing (sewered and non sewered)
    • Connecting a flexible hose to a washing machine outlet (sewered and non sewered)
    • The infrastructure of the sewerage service provider for the area’s sewerage service (sewered area)
    • A grey water use facility (sewered and non sewered areas)
    • An on-site sewerage facility (non sewered area)

    An environmentally relevant on-site sewerage facility (non sewered area)
    The owner must ensure –

    • The grey water does not cause an odour that unreasonably interferes, or is likely to unreasonably interfere, with the use or enjoyment of any other premises; and
    • Any ponding or run-off of the grey water does not cause a danger or health risk to anyone.

    Storage of the any grey water should be avoided. If stored for more than a 24 hour period the grey water may:

    • Turn septic
    • Give off offensive odours
    • Provide conditions for the growth of micro-organisms
    • Breed mosquitoes.

    The grey water pipes must be installed in a way that enables the grey water to be re directed into an onsite sewerage facility on a non sewered property or the civil sewerage infrastructure in a sewered area.  Any work involving the installation or modification of sewerage pipework needs to be completed by a licenced drainer.

    Grey Water Treatment Plants and Grey Water Diversion Devices can also be installed to convey the wastewater to a land application area. Grey water treatment plants treat the water to a level which enables its use in some domestic and commercial applications.

    A Compliance Permit from Noosa Councils Building and Plumbing Services is required before any Greywater Treatment plant or Grey Water Diversion Device is installed.

    More information on grey water and its potential use can be on found on the Department of Housing and Public Work website.