Chevron RightCredit CardFacebookGoogle PlusInfoInstagramLinkedInLockPhonesearchTwitter

Private sewage pumps

Important information about our requirements for installing private sewage pumps at your property

What is a private sewage pump?

A private sewage pump is any privately owned and maintained sewage pump that discharges to the property’s internal plumbing, Yarra Valley Water’s property connection branch, or a Yarra Valley Water sewerage rising main.

Are private sewage pumps permitted?

Where practicable, all proposed property fixtures must be serviced by gravity plumbing by:

  • Connecting to the existing sewerage system so the whole property can be serviced by gravity plumbing.
  • Extending the sewerage system to the property where the extension provides a sewer outlet that enables the whole property to be serviced by gravity plumbing.
  • Requesting that Yarra Valley Water consider accepting partial lot control where only part of the property can be serviced by gravity plumbing.

Where it isn’t reasonably practicable for all proposed property fixtures to be serviced by gravity plumbing, please refer to the following principles, depending on your situation.

  • Community sewerage areas

    Because many homes in Melbourne were built before sewerage was available, more than 11,000 properties in the outer northern and eastern suburbs are still using septic tank systems. Many of these septic tank systems do not meet current standards and are a potential risk to public health, local waterways, and the environment.

    Our Community Sewerage Program is working to provide eligible properties with a sustainable sewerage solution. More than $320 million is being spent on the program. 

    Community sewerage areas are either provided with gravity or pressure sewer systems, depending on the landscape of the area. Where an area is very hilly and provided with a pressure sewer system, Yarra Valley Water will own and maintain the pressure pump units on each property.

    Find out if your area is part of the Community Sewerage Program:

    View areas in Community Sewerage Program

  • Basements (all property types)

    If the property fixtures are below the finished surface level of the property and it is not reasonably practicable to discharge to the sewer by gravity plumbing, a private sewage pump is permitted, with these conditions:

    • The private pump and discharge pipework must be designed and installed in accordance with AS3500.
    • The private pump must only service the fixtures that are unable to discharge to the sewer by gravity plumbing.
    • The private pump must discharge to the private internal gravity plumbing before Yarra Valley Water’s property connection branch.

    The private pump will be designed, constructed, owned, operated, maintained, and fully funded by the developer or property owner.

  • Small bore macerator pumps (all property types)

    Small bore macerator pumps are pumps that receive sewage from one or more wastewater fixtures and are positioned in the same room as the fixtures (e.g. under-sink sullage pumps). These pumps are permitted where it’s not reasonably practicable to service the fixtures with gravity plumbing. When considering a small-bore macerator pump please note:

    • The pumps and discharge pipework must be designed and installed in accordance with AS3500.2.
    • It must discharge to the private internal gravity plumbing before Yarra Valley Water’s property connection branch.

    These are installed, owned, operated, maintained, and fully funded by the developer or property owner.

  • Residential properties (including owners’ corporations and mixed-use)

    Other than small bore macerators and basement pumps, we don’t allow private pumps to be installed in residential properties. This includes residential owners’ corporations and mixed-use sites.

    We’ll work with you to select one of the following:

    • A sewage pump station built to Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) and Yarra Valley Water standards, which will be designed, constructed, owned, operated, and maintained by Yarra Valley Water.
    • A pressure sewer system built to Yarra Valley Water and WSAA standards, which will be designed, constructed, owned, operated, and maintained by Yarra Valley Water.

    The cost to design and install a sewage pump station or pressure sewer will be covered by the developer or property owner by providing design and construction deposits. We will then be responsible for the maintenance of the pump as a Yarra Valley Water-owned asset.

    In these instances, we recommend you contact us to seek advice early to ensure you’re well informed of any requirements and estimated costs.

    Request Preliminary Servicing Advice through easyAccess online.

    Visit easyAccess

  • Commercial properties

    Commercial properties include shops, warehousing, manufacturing, schools, clubs, hospitals, nursing homes, retirement villages, and golf courses.

    Where it’s not practicable to service the property entirely with gravity plumbing, we may permit the installation of privately owned and maintained sewage pumps.

    All requests to service a commercial development site by a private pump must include the following information:

    • Your basis for determining that gravity plumbing is not reasonably practicable.
    • A description of who will own and maintain the private pump(s) and confirmation they have the capability to do so.
    • The total estimated daily sewage discharge in litres from the private pump(s).
    • Information about the proposed pump supplier, the pump unit to be used, and the pump’s peak flow rate.
    • The number of pumps proposed (we require a minimum duty/standby arrangement where daily sewage discharge exceeds 500L).
    • The proposed alarms and monitoring of the unit (we require a minimum of audible and visual alarms).
    • The proposed volume of emergency storage above the cut-in level of the pump unit. Where the unit is remotely monitored (with an automated SMS alert as a minimum), the emergency storage volume must be at least one-third of the total daily sewage discharge or 500L, whichever is greater. If the unit is not remotely monitored, the emergency storage volume must be at least equal to the total daily sewage discharge or 500L, whichever is greater.

    We have prepared a template for providing this requested information. This template provides guidance for estimating the daily sewerage discharge.

    View the information form (PDF 59KB)

    We will review this information and let you know if further conditions are necessary.

    We recommend seeking Preliminary Servicing Advice early to make sure you’re informed of any requirements.

    Request Preliminary Servicing Advice through easyAccess online.

    Where a private pump is permitted, please note:

    • Once works are completed, the plumber must lodge an updated Property Sewerage Plan clearly showing the location of the private pump.
    • We will add an encumbrance to the property with the following Water Information Statement:

    “Your property is serviced by privately owned sewer pump(s).

    The owner of the property is responsible for the ongoing operation, maintenance and repairs to the sewer pump(s). Where applicable, standby pumps, emergency storage volumes and alarms must be maintained.

    If you experience any faults with your sewer pump(s), please contact your plumber or maintenance provider to investigate and repair as necessary.

    Additional servicing conditions may apply for any future connection or subdivision of the property.”

    We don’t allow privately owned pressure sewer or rising mains that extend outside the development site’s property boundary. The pressure sewer or rising main outside the property boundary will be a Yarra Valley Water owned and maintained asset, fully funded by the developer, and will need to be designed and built tot he relevant WSAA standards.

    Please request Preliminary Servicing Advice early to ensure you are well informed of any requirements via easyAccess online.

  • Council-owned land and facilities

    For public sites (council land and facilities), we will work with the council to select the most appropriate servicing solution. Please request Preliminary Servicing Advice via easyAccess online.

    Visit easyAccess

    Generally, where it is not reasonably practicable to service the site by gravity plumbing, we prefer one of the following:

    • A sewage pump station built to WSAA and Yarra Valley Water standards, which will be designed, constructed, owned, operated, and maintained by Yarra Valley Water.
    • A pressure sewer system built to WSAA and Yarra Valley Water standards, which will be designed, constructed, owned, operated, and maintained by Yarra Valley Water.

    The cost to design and install a sewage pump station or pressure sewer will be covered by the developer by providing design and construction deposits. We will then be responsible for the maintenance of the pump as a Yarra Valley Water-owned asset.

    Where appropriate, we may accept privately owned and maintained sewer pumps with the conditions for commercial property requirements outlined above.