Common failures of on-site sewerage facilities
  • Last updated:
  • 31 Aug 2022

Complaints can arise from waste water trenches overflowing into neighbouring properties. Unpleasant smells like rotten egg gas is another common cause for complaints. Both issues present a serious health risk for the community and need attending to immediately.

Complaints can also arise due to waste water sprinklers being too close to neighbours. Care should be taken to ensure that sprinklers remain in the land application area (LAA). The LAA must be taken into account when additions and alterations are being considered.

The failure of an on-site sewerage facility (OSF) is often caused by one or a combination of the following:

  • overflowing LAA
  • odours from the OSF
  • blockages i.e. tree roots
  • essential bacteria killed by household cleaning chemicals
  • damaged structural components
  • failed mechanical components, including pumps and blowers
  • leaching into groundwater
  • failure to meet effluent quality standards
  • excessive water use
  • lack of system maintenance
  • incorrect OSF design or system selection.

If your OSF is failing you need to take action immediately to fix the issue. Failure to do so can result in serious health issues for the community and local waterways.

For a comprehensive guide refer to council's common failures of OSFs fact sheet.