Lord Howe Island being a small populated island uses on-site wastewater management systems to dispose of wastewater from residences, lodges, school, hospital and commercial buildings.

There are approximately 230 wastewater systems on the Island and in 2013 approximately 160 of these systems were septic tanks. The Lord Howe Island Board (LHIB) utilises composting toilets at several public areas including Ned’s Beach, the playground and Old Settlement Beach.

Over recent years the LHIB has been reviewing the Island’s wastewater strategy to address groundwater contamination and public health concerns over possible contact with treated effluent.

In September 2012 the LHIB approved a Wastewater Strategy based around on-site treatment and disposal. All wastewater systems on the Island will be required to demonstrate that they meet the requirements of this Strategy. The Strategy has been revised to keep up with environmental planning and legislation changes and the latest version of the Strategy, December 2015, can be downloaded from the Publications area of this website.

The LHIB has developed some site Design Guidelines to assist leaseholders with the upgrade of their systems. These design guidelines can also be downloaded from the Publications area of this website.

The LHIB has been working to improve the management of wastewater from its own facilities. In 2014 three LHIB residences had their septic systems replaced with modern package treatment plants, two being serviced with an Aqua Nova wastewater system and one by a Root Zone reed bed system.

In late 2015, in collaboration with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), the Airport Terminal and BOM Station were connected to a new FujiClean package wastewater treatment plant replacing two septic systems. Plans are underway to install three new systems early in 2016, including the Public Hall, the Jetty and the Waste Management Facility.