Community Wastewater Management Systems

What is a Community Wastewater Management System?

Currently in SA the most common reticulated CWMS is a STEDS (Septic Tank Effluent Disposal Scheme). These schemes comprise a gravity collection system and generally provide a connection to each property at a depth to allow connection of the property wastewater system by gravity and may receive the discharge from a septic tank and/or a greywater treatment tank or other approved treatment process on the property.

What systems are operated by Alexandrina Council?

Alexandrina Council currently owns and operates six CWMS schemes in Goolwa, Port Elliot, Waterport, Milang, Mount Compass and Strathalbyn. All of the schemes (other than Mount Compass) are STED (Septic Tank Effluent Disposal) schemes which rely on privately owned household septic tanks to provide primary treatment of the household waste.

Alexandrina Council staff members maintain the gravity drainage network within the road reserve, easements and also maintain each property's allotment connection up to the property boundary. Within each property the ownership and maintenance of the internal drains and septic tank are the responsibility of the land owner.

Land Division Guidelines

These guidelines are provided to be referenced in conjunction with approved land division activities. For further information please contact the Engineering and Infrastructure Department.

How do you connect to the system?

Any new connections or extensions to the CWMS must comply with Council's standards and guidelines to ensure Council takes responsibility for an efficient and trouble free drainage network. To guarantee a high standard is achieved, Alexandrina Council now requires a greater amount of information about a proposed connection before any construction is to commence. All drainage infrastructure must also be inspected prior to backfilling. As-constructed plans of each new connection and extension of the drainage network are now compulsory to enable Council to keep up to date electronic mapping and records of the network.

Further information in regards to fees and charges associated with Council CWMS is located here

Please contact Council on 08 8555 7000 if you wish to discuss a new connection to the CWMS.

Once you have a CWMS connection how do you apply for Wastewater approval?

Within Alexandrina, there are two types of CWMS; sewer systems and Septic Tank Effluent Drainage Systems (STEDs). Both require Council approval for installation, connection and alteration.  An Application for Wastewater Works must be completed in full and lodged with Council, along with supporting documentation dependant on what is being applied for i.e. site plan, underfloor plumbing plan.

Please note that our preferred method of lodgement is electronic.  You can lodge applications electronically by sending them to