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Source: Auckland Council

An Auckland-wide programme to ensure compliance of onsite wastewater systems is coming to Franklin.

Teams funded through the water quality targeted rate have already undertaken education and compliance projects on Waiheke Island, and in Rodney and Waitakere.

Franklin Local Board chair Andy Baker says the board approved an engagement programme earlier in the year that aims to raise awareness of the legal requirements for maintaining onsite wastewater systems.

“Not doing so has major environmental risks because wastewater inevitably finds its way into our waterways.

“None of us want to see our waterways degraded, especially when maintaining our wastewater systems is usually just a case of regular inspections and maintenance.”

Healthy Waters teams will work across Franklin offering subsidised inspections.

Baker says the board asked that a local company be used, and Auckland Council’s Healthy Waters has now partnered with Waiuku-based Water Projects Ltd to offer homeowners with onsite wastewater systems discounted inspections.

“Anyone with an onsite wastewater system such as a septic tank needs to have regular inspections to ensure the system is properly maintained, safe and doing what it should.

“Residents who book an inspection will have 60 per cent of the cost covered. In most cases inspections cost about $150, so that will mean residents pay only around $60,” Baker says.

Healthy Waters says inspections should identify performance issues and provide advice on any remedial action required, as well as on ways to improve system performance.

Those who take up the offer will also receive information about how onsite wastewater systems work, how to care for them and issues to look out for.

Auckland Council Deputy Mayor and Franklin Ward Councillor Bill Cashmore says the programme will not only help households understand the impacts of a leaky system on the environment, but also on human health and neighbouring properties.

“A lot of property owners across Franklin rely on onsite wastewater systems but it’s just human nature that out of site can be out of mind, and that means many of those systems are not as well cared for as they might be.

“We all want to see our waterways and harbours not only protected but enhanced, and that doesn’t rely on someone else doing something, it relies on us all playing a part.”

The discount is available from 1 October on a first-in, first-served basis.

Healthy Waters staff also plan to attend resident association meetings across Franklin.

Similar meetings in other areas of the city were able to answer questions and received positive feedback.

More on septic tanks here, and to book, email healthywaterways@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

MIL OSI