School operations

Wastewater Treatment Systems

Including septic tanks and treatment systems for wastewater

New system installations, replacements and decommissioning

Secondary treatment systems have a limited stated service with a typical lifespan of 15 years before needing replacement. Schools should check the stated service life of their prospective on-site wastewater treatment system (OWMS) and anticipate replacing it with a new system at that time or arrange for mains connection which may be the more cost-effective option.

The decision to install, replace or decommission an OWMS for a school must be made collaboratively with:

  • the relevant regional office
  • the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA)
  • the school planning committee
  • the local council
  • the applicable water retailer.

A land capability assessment (LCA) is required for new system installation and upgrades. An LCA assesses the capability of a site to sustainably utilise and manage wastewater, and identifies the greatest risks to an area of land from wastewater management.

An LCA is required for most developments which do not have access to sewerage facilities, prior to the development proceeding. An LCA may also be required to determine whether an existing development can sustainably contain all treated wastewater on-site. Your school’s OWMS installer can determine whether an LCA is required.

Includes information on installing, replacing or decommissioning an on-site wastewater management system

Reviewed 11 January 2023

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