Applying for or renewing an approval as a septic tank operator


Do you offer septic tank services in Wallonia? Do you have your septic tank operator approval? You must be officially recognised by the SPW ARNE (Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment) to operate. It is free of charge to apply for an approval or renewal. Apply online! 


Why get approved as a septic tank operator? 

Sludge accumulated in septic tanks, or any other waste storage or wastewater purification system, is considered as waste. Its must be evacuated and disposed of properly to avoid polluting the environment. 
By granting you approval, the SPW ARNE recognises that you have the technical and logistical resources needed to operate in compliance with the law. 

The approval is valid for 8 years. This official recognition is not automatically renewed. You must apply for a renewal. 

Once approved, you are included on the official list of approved septic tank operators in Wallonia.  


Official recognition through obligations 

Once you have been approved, you will have to comply with several obligations including: 

  • complying with the approval conditions (see "Conditions" section) 
  • carrying out your operations independently 
  • informing the SPW ARNE of any change in your information 
  • allowing monitoring agents to access the premises 


How do you apply for or renew an approval as a septic tank operator? 

To apply for an approval, or request the renewal of an existing approval, complete and validate the online form (link in the "Forms" section) following the procedure described below. 

In detail

Target audience – details

Any natural or legal person, or any company wishing to work as an operator for septic tanks or for other sewage sludge accumulation systems in Wallonia. 


The vehicle used to empty the septic tanks must have a registration certificate and be certified as roadworthy. It must be equipped with a sealed tank fitted with the following elements: 

  • an opening that allows for easy cleaning 
  • a volume gauge 
  • a vacuum or positive displacement pump 
  • a valve that allows suction and discharge 
  • a vacuum breaking valve 
  • a pressure relief valve 

Approval allows you to work as a "contracted" septic tank operator under the Gestion publique de l'assainissement autonome (Belgian public management of on-site wastewater treatment). 


Approval gives your customer the guarantee that you have the necessary resources and technical knowledge to dispose of the sludge correctly and in accordance with the law on waste management. 


APPLICATION FOR APPROVAL (or renewal of approval)

To apply for approval, or renewal, complete and validate the online form available in French or German (see "Forms" section).

You will need to include:

  • information on additional offices(s) where there is more than one place of business
  • an updated copy of the articles of association of the legal entity
  • a copy of the professional liability insurance policy
  • confirmation from the insurer that this insurance coverage is in effect
  • for each vehicle:

                       o a copy of the registration certificate
                       o a copy of the inspection certificate issued by the vehicle inspection organisation
                       o a copy of the vehicle's insurance certificate




The SPW ARNE sends an acknowledgement of receipt within 10 days of receiving your application.


The SPW ARNE analyses the content of your application and checks that it is complete and admissible. You will be informed of its decision no later than 30 days after the date of the acknowledgement of receipt.

*) If your application is incomplete.

You have 30 days from the date of receipt of the SPW ARNE's decision to send the missing elements indicated in the decision.

Upon receipt of the missing elements, the administration has 30 days to notify you of its decision on the completeness and admissibility of your application. If it finds your application incomplete a second time, it will declare it inadmissible.  

*) If no decision is sent by the SPW ARNE within the aforementioned deadlines, your application is considered admissible and its processing continues.


The SPW ARNE will inform you of its decision to grant or refuse approval 60 days after notification of the admissibility of your application, at the latest.

It may extend this period for a further 30 days, in which case it will inform you before the 60 days expire.

Note: approval is deemed to have been granted if the aforementioned deadlines are exceeded.



If you are not satisfied with the SPW ARNE's decision, you can submit an appeal with the Minister for the Environment within 20 days of receiving the SPW ARNE's decision.

How? By registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt to be sent to Rue d'Harscamp 22, B-5000 NAMUR.

  • If you would like a hearing with the Minister, then specify this in your appeal.

The Minister will send you an acknowledgement of receipt and a hearing date and location within 30 days of receiving your appeal. After the hearing, the Minister has 30 days to send you a decision.

  • If you do not want a hearing with the Minister, you will be notified of the decision within 30 days of the receipt of your appeal.



Contact the Waste Management Infrastructure and Policy Directorate
Updated on
Process n° : 144830
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