Dispose of septic tank and grease trap waste

If you are a contractor wanting to dispose of septage or grease trap waste, there are rules you must follow.

Septage is the waste material from a septic tank.

To dispose of septage or grease trap waste, you must:

How to apply

Find out how to apply for an approval or a licence to dispose of waste.

How to transport waste

You must take all reasonable steps to prevent or minimise pollution or environmental harm when you:

  • collect
  • store
  • transport septage and grease trap waste.

You can transfer the waste into a vacuum tanker for transport to an authorised treatment or waste disposal facility.

You can also transfer the waste into intermediate bulk containers.

Where you can dispose of waste

You are not allowed to dump septage and grease trap waste on Crown land.

Options for disposal are listed below.

Regional trade waste management facility

You can transport septage and grease trap waste for a fee to the following regional trade waste facilities:

  • Palmerston waste stabilisation ponds
  • Katherine and Tennant Creek waste stabilisation ponds
  • Alice Springs waste stabilisation ponds or
  • Alice Springs landfill for grease trap waste disposal.

You can't transport waste to stabilisation ponds in remote communities.

Regional council landfill

If you can't take your waste to a regional trade waste management facility, contact your nearest regional council.

You will need to ask permission to dispose of your waste at their landfill.

If you can't take waste to a facility or council landfill

You may be able to dispose of your waste on private property in a remote area.

You must do the following:

  • get permission from the property owner including land councils and Traditional Owners
  • advise the property owner of the source, type and quality of waste
  • advise the property owner of how you intend to dispose of the waste and how the disposal area will be protected
  • contact the NT EPA to check if you need authorisation.

How to dispose of waste on private property in a remote area

If you have permission to dispose of waste on a private property in a remote area you must ensure the disposal trenches are:

  • big enough to contain the amount of waste that needs disposing
  • away from people and stock
  • recorded using GPS coordinates or a Google Maps reference
  • not going to cause a public health or environmental nuisance
  • not going to become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

You must cover the waste with at least 150mm of soil depending on the amount you have.

The trench must be at least:

  • 1000m from a public or domestic water supply, dam, well, bore, or reservoir
  • 500m from a stream or water course
  • 250m from a growing vegetable garden or flowering fruit tree.

Last updated: 30 November 2020

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