Tanks tank
 Baw Baw News   By // 23:23, Sunday 22 February 2015

baw baw shire sign for the warragul citizen newspaper by william pj kulich

SEPTIC tank applications for properties in Drouin East and Trafalgar East have been refused by Baw Baw Shire councillors.

First published in the 13 February edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen. Get your copy today from retailers across Baw Baw.


Councillors rejected a tank proposal for a property on Paterson Street, Drouin East, on the advice of council staff.

Assessors said in a report to the council “the lot is considered high risk in that [it] is only 725m squared in size.”

Assessors acknowledged that while secondary treatment would be used, “the house design and amount of land developed through the house construction will place pressure on the site to contain all the effluent.”

Officers recommended the refusal of the septic tank permit “until the proposed building layout is redesigned to maximise the area of land available for treatment and disposal of effluent and to minimise the potential nuisance for neighbouring properties.”


“The required setback distances to property boundaries and site cuts will be difficult to meet. Unless a smaller house with less rooms that could be used as bedrooms is constructed, the site is highly likely to create a nuisance in relation to effluent discharging off site.”

The property owner told councillors at [the 11 February] council meeting he understood the plan to be within regulation and the rejection was based on the potential for additional bedrooms to be added to the building at a later date.

An amendment to the motion to reject the application made by Warragul ward councillor Mikaela Power stated that an alternate design with a reduced footprint and hard stand area may be supported, and councillors encouraged the owner to continue discussions with council staff to work toward approval.

North ward councillor David Balfour said it “gives the applicant the opportunity and ability to come back and talk to our staff.”

“I’m sure they will come up with an alternative design.”

State Environment Protection Policy requires septic tank wastewater systems to treat and dispose of effluent within property boundaries.


Trafalgar East


A septic tank proposal for a dwelling on Hillbricks Road, Trafalgar East, suffered a similar fate but for different reasons. Councillors voted to refuse the permit after it emerged other building permits were required first.

“The site’s definitely large enough to contain it, the issue we have is there is no evidence of either the planning or building permits required,” Cr Power said.

Council officers said in a report to councillors “the building was a converted barn that had been fitted out with a bathroom, kitchen, living area and an upstairs section. A toilet was not yet installed, although the plumbing had been installed.”

“These works require planning and building permits. A review of council records indicates that these have not been obtained. These permits must be obtained prior to issuing a septic tank wastewater permit to avoid council providing approval for [the] works conducted.”

Mount Worth ward councillor Murray Cook was positive about the future for the applicants.

“This is purely a process situation, and if the applicant follows the process I think it (the septic tank application) will be successful.”

13 FEBRUARY EDITION OUT NOW – Copies available from retailers across Baw Baw.

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