Wastewater in the Mansfield Shire

One of the biggest topics of the last five years within the Mansfield Shire has been onsite wastewater. This particular topic is something most property owners would rather deal with then forget about. However since the local Water Authority has now considered Lake Eildon Catchment to be of potable water, or a “special catchment”, more stringent red tape has been placed on developments within the region.

Many people have their opinion regarding the best solution for dealing with effluent whether it be a conventional septic tank or an Aerobic Water Treatment System (AWTS), or a Septic to Sand filter system, but in the end it really comes down to what the property is capable of handling when regarding a variety of aspects including; soil type, slope, aspect, offsets to waterways or reservoirs and an assortment of codes and standards.

Whatever the potential outcomes may be, each outcome needs to suit the your own preference - probably something you don’t want to think about when worrying about door and window types. A Land Capability Assessment (LCA) is the report that justifies your preferred system on site, with desktop and site investigations to prove to the Water and Local Authority why your preferred system will handle the subject wastewater.

There are many assessors that can provide you with a report, although it is always beneficial for you to engage in someone local. Over the last 10 years, the content required to be included in the reports are cumbersome, so save your time and have someone do it for you. This will be needed when applying for a planning permit, followed by a septic permit given to you by local authority - both permits needed when applying for a building permit.

The basic, stand alone Septic Tank then dispersing effluent via absorption trench drains beneath the ground surface, is by far the simplest, reliable, and cost effective way to manage onsite wastewater, perhaps requiring the desludging (pump outs) every two to three years depending on its usage. The main issue with this system is the quality of effluent, and its possible threat when in close proximity to any drain, watercourse, aquifer, or potable water reservoir.

The benefit of adopting an AWTS is that it improves the quality of effluent where it can be used for irrigation through a series of pipes under pressure beneath the topsoil…..when it gets used. There a various products on the market, and each salesperson will tell you which one is the best for you. However for any holiday destination, a lot of these systems have failed, due to lack of maintenance, quarterly inspections and basically lack of education and care when properties shifted to new owners.

Contact us today to discuss your needs for an LCA - we're local and we're here to help...

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