Pressure sewer systems

A pressure sewer system (PSS) is a network of sealed pipes and small, below-ground pump stations at some connected properties. The pump stations collect household sewage and pump it to the sewer main, located in the street.

Pressure sewer systems are used in certain areas because of topography, the unsuitability of ground conditions and/or cost of a conventional sewerage system.

You will be notified at the time you make an application to connect to the sewer system if your purchased land is located within a pressure sewer system area. If you purchase a property located within a pressure sewer system area, this will be stated in the Section 32 Vendor Statement. Currently, pressure sewer systems are used only in The Point residential subdivision, Point Lonsdale.

Pressure sewer system diagram


A Barwon Water contractor installs:

  • a pump unit on your property
  • electrical cabling – from the tank to the control panel
  • a pump control panel to your house.

Once installed, the only visible parts are the tank lid, boundary kit lid and control panel.

Ownership and responsibilities

Barwon Water owns and maintains your pressure sewer unit. However, as the property owner/tenant it’s your responsibility to ensure there is power to control panel to ensure the tank doesn’t overflow and the audible alarm works. Do not turn off the power supply to your pressure sewer unit.

As the owner/tenant, you’re responsible for the running costs. These are dependent on your water use and your electricity rates. Typically, power costs for pressure sewer units are less than $20 per year.


The storage tank and boundary kit lids should not be covered by any landscaping work. Please ensure sufficient space is left around these components to allow access for maintenance staff.

Items greater than 500 kilograms (eg: cars, boats, trailers, ride-on mowers) must not be placed over the storage tank lid.

Going away? Flushing the pump unit

If your property will be unoccupied for more than three days, you should flush the pumping unit before leaving to prevent potential odour issues.

To flush your unit, run at least 190 litres of water into your household drains. This can be achieved by doing a few of loads of washing and using the shower just prior to leaving your property.


If for any reason the pump unit or pump-control fails, the wastewater level in the tank will rise and trigger an alarm sent to our 24-hour Communications Centre.

We will monitor the issue and if it doesn’t soon self-correct then we will send an authorised service contractor.

Relocating components

If you want to relocate any part of your pressure sewer unit, you’ll need to seek approval from us first. Any work must be completed by an authorised contractor, and will be at your expense.

Non-flushable items

Some items can damage your pressure sewer unit if flushed. If your pump fails due to unauthorised items entering the storage tank, you may be liable for repair costs.

Do not flush:

  • glass, metal or plastic
  • gravel or sand (eg: aquarium stones)
  • coffee grinds
  • seafood shells
  • wet wipes (even if labelled as ‘flushable’)
  • cotton buds
  • socks, rags, or clothes
  • nappies, sanitary pads or tampons
  • cat litter
  • explosives or flammable materials, such as fuels
  • oil or grease, including cooking oil.