Waste Water

Page Contents 
Council Waste Management Systems (CWMS) 
CWMS Septic Pump Out Service 
Wastewater options by township 
Wastewater system failures and repairs 
Wastewater System Application Form

Unlike many inner or metropolitan council areas, residents of the Adelaide Hills cannot assume that they are connected to an externally managed sewer system. Many factors contribute towards this, including low density living, the age of many dwellings and topography that is not supportive of sewer networks.

Wastewater treatment and disposal throughout the Adelaide Hills Council is therefore undertaken with mixture of available methods. These include:

  • Traditional gravity sewer
  • Pressure sewer (whereby each property has a maceration unit)
  • Council Waste Management Systems (CWMS, previously referred to as STEDS)
  • Onsite systems (septic, aerobic or alternative).

Each of these methods has its own unique responsibilities, benefits and drawbacks. As a property owner or resident of the Adelaide Hills, you should make yourself aware of the type of system on your property and the best methods of managing this system.

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Council Waste Management Systems (CWMS) 
We provide CWMS services to customers in Birdwood, Kersbrook, Mount Torrens, Charleston, Verdun, Woodside and some parts of Stirling.

Wastewater from Council's CWMS systems in Birdwood, Kersbrook and Mount Torrens is treated and disposed of by Council-owned and operated treatment facilities. Wastewater from CWMS systems in Charleston, Woodside, Verdun and Stirling is collected through Council infrastructure and disposed of through SA Water owned treatment facilities.

We have a CWMS Wastewater Service Charter in place with the aim of providing our CWMS customers with a clear understanding of the standards of service they can expect from us and their rights and responsibilities. To inform CWMS customers on how the current prices have been developed and the rationale for price movements between the current and previous year Council has developed a CWMS Pricing Policy Statement.

For information on our CWMS, including inspection and connection contact us on (08) 8408 0400.
For information on mains sewer, including inspection and connection, call SA Water on 1300 650 951.

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CWMS Septic Pump Out Service 
Council arranges a compulsory septic tank de-sludge service for CWMS customers every five years through Woodside business Adelaide Hills Septic. To minimise costs, the de-sludge service is carried out an entire township at a time. Property owners will be informed by letter approximately two weeks prior to the scheduled pump out service for their township and if residents prefer to be at home when the service is undertaken, appointments can be made at the time of notice by calling Adelaide Hills Septic directly on 0432 745 830 during office hours.

To ensure a smooth and efficient service, and under workplace health and safety requirements, property owners must remove the access shaft cover to expose the septic tank lid prior to the contractor's arrival.

Septic tank lids are approximately 800x600mm in size, and removal of soil around the lid to a distance of 250mm is also needed. The septic tank lid itself must only be opened by the contractor.

If you require assistance with locating or uncovering the tank lid, please contact Council on 8408 0400 to discuss your options.

Access shaft cover at ground level
(to be removed by property owner)​
​Septic tank lid
(to be removed by contractor)

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Wastewater options by township

Township/Suburb Postcode Systems Available
Aldgate 5154
Sewer and/or Onsite
Ashton 5137Onsite
Balhannah 5242Sewer and/or Onsite
Basket Range 5138Onsite
Birdwood 5234Onsite or CWMS
Bradbury 5153Onsite
Bridgewater 5155Sewer and/or Onsite
Carey Gully 5144Onsite
Castambul 5076Onsite
Chain of Ponds 5133Onsite
Charleston 5244Onsite
Cherryville 5134Onsite
Crafers 5152Sewer and/or Onsite
Cudlee Creek 5232Onsite
Forest Range 5139Onsite
Forreston 5233Onsite
Greenhill 5140Onsite
Gumeracha 5233Sewer and/or  Onsite
Heathfield 5153Sewer and/or Onsite
Houghton 5131Onsite
Humbug Scrub 5114Onsite
Inglewood 5133Onsite
Ironbank 5153Onsite
Inverbrackie 5244Onsite
Kenton Valley 5233Onsite
Kersbrook 5231Onsite or CWMS
Lenswood 5240Onsite
Lobethal 5241Sewer and/or Onsite
Longwood 5153Sewer and/or Onsite
Milbrook 5133Onsite
Montacute 5134Onsite
Mount Torrens 5244Onsite or CWMS
Mylor 5153Onsite
Norton Summit 5136Onsite
Oakbank 5243Sewer and/or Onsite
Paracombe 5134Onsite
Piccadilly 5151Sewer and/or Onsite
Rostrevor 5073Sewer and/or Onsite
Scott Creek 5153Onsite
Stirling 5152Sewer, CWMS and/or Onsite
Summertown 5141Onsite
Teringie 5072Sewer and/or Onsite
Upper Sturt 5156Onsite
Uraidla 5142Onsite
Verdun 5245Onsite or CWMS

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Wastewater system failures and repairs 
We are all starting to feel the impact of poorly managed septic systems in our growing society. Leaking septic systems can have insidious effects, seeping into and contaminating ground water supplies, and mixing with the water in our favourite swimming holes without us even being aware of it.

There is a growing crisis facing areas where septic systems predominate. Many of these septic systems are leaking, posing health risks to families and communities and to those further downstream. Many of us are simply not aware of the risks, and are not managing these systems safely.

You may have had a septic system for years, or just recently installed one. You may be about to move to the country from the city, or you may be thinking about installing a new septic system. Whatever your situation, you need to know how to manage and operate a septic system safely without causing sewage pollution and risking your family's health or the quality of your local environment.

Click here to download Waste Control Systems Information Sheet

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Wastewater System Application Form 
For all onsite wastewater system works
please click here to access the onsite wastewater system application form. This now covers all options including modifications to existing systems as well as applications for new installations.

Click here for waste water application fees.

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Council acknowledges that we conduct our business on the traditional lands and waters of the Peramangk and Kaurna people. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging as the Custodians of this ancient and beautiful land.
© Copyright Adelaide Hills Council 2020