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Sewer checks after the fires

As bushfire-affected residents work to rebuild and return to their properties, Eurobodalla Shire Council is helping make the process as smooth as possible.

Among the services currently being offered is a free onsite sewage management (OSSM) system check for those with septic tanks, aerated wastewater treatment systems or composting systems.

Council’s Environmental Health Technical Officer Jonathan Trotman is visiting fire-damaged houses to see if their systems are operating properly.

“If your property was impacted by bushfire, there’s a chance your OSSM system may have been affected,” Mr Trotman said.

“We’re focussing on damaged properties where residents are still able to reside in their home to make sure the OSSM system is working properly.”

“We can also look at places completely destroyed by fire. If people are planning to rebuild a similar sized home in the same location, they may be able to hook into their existing system and save themselves quite a bit of money.”

Mr Trotman said it was important OSSM systems function well so there are no public health or environmental issues. 

“We want to make sure we still have the appropriate controls in place while making it as easy as possible for bushfire-affected people to rebuild.”

Mr Trotman said Council’s environmental health team could give advice about the placement of new housing pods and demountable structures for the best use of existing OSSM systems. They should be upslope from the system and within 20 metres if possible.

Where existing services cannot be used, Council can provide some advice about what people need to do to get a new system connected. 

He said Council’s free onsite visits had been well-received so far.

“A lot of people are happy to see us and are so appreciative of what Council is doing. Our visits also give us an opportunity to touch base with people, make sure they’re registered with Service NSW for the clean-up and just see how they’re doing.”

Anyone with questions about their OSSM or the inspection service can call Council’s environmental health team on 4474 1310 or email or the recovery helpdesk on 4474 7434, and

Above: Council’s environmental health officer Jonathan Trotman inspects a septic tank at a fire-damaged property in Malua Bay.

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