On-site sewerage facilities troubleshooting transcript
  • Last updated:
  • 12 Oct 2020

We have had a look (in previous videos) at what on-site sewerage facilities area and now I would like to take you through some of the things that can go wrong.

There are quite a few components to on-site sewerage facilities and we will look at some of the things that can go wrong on a regular basis.

Broken tanks and components, older tanks made of concrete tend to break down over time. You will also find broken lids on distribution boxes allowing tree roots to get into your tank. Large trees and shrubs should be kept well away from land application areas to prevent roots from penetrating and doing major damage.

Broken and weak tanks and lids pose a health hazard because they create a place for vermin, mosquitoes and flies to breed. They also pose a safety risk for humans and animals that could fall into the system.

It is also important to have the vents on your on-site sewerage facilities screened to prevent the entry of mosquitoes so they do not have a place to breed.

Any mechanical components of your on-site sewerage facility need to be maintained regularly. If pumps and blowers/aerators break down they will cause a major failure to your on-site sewerage facility so they must be repaired immediately.

Regular maintenance of your on-site sewerage facility can help you avoid any costly repairs in the future.

Overflowing land application areas can be caused by excessive water use within the house, blocked trenches, overgrown land application areas or inappropriate system for the type of soil on the property.

Overflowing land application areas or leaching land application areas can also cause problems with drinking water supplies particularly if bores are in use.

If you notice that your sink is low to drain or your pipework is making strange gurgling noises, you probably have a partial blockage or may have a full tank (that could be a septic tank, a grease trap or a treatment tank) that may need to be pumped out.

On-site sewerage facilities can be a major contributor to excess nutrients entering our waterways. As you can see on the sign here, this lake is now closed due to water quality issues. It's in all our interests to ensure that on-site sewerage facilities are maintained in good working order.

A fact sheet detailing common failures of on-site sewerage facilities is available on council's website.