Source: Auckland Council
Do your part to keep Auckland’s waterways, and ecosystems healthy by making sure your septic tank is well maintained.
From June 2022, properties not connected to a wastewater network will be asked to provide Auckland Council with proof their onsite wastewater system is working well. This means your septic tank, aerated system, composting toilet or other wastewater treatment needs to be serviced by a professional. Most properties in Auckland are connected to Watercare’s piped network and pay for wastewater disposal. About 45,000 households in rural areas and on the Hauraki Gulf islands do not have access to this network and rely on onsite wastewater systems to treat their sewage and wastewater.
In an effort to reduce faecal contamination of our waterways, the water quality targeted rate is funding compliance monitoring of onsite wastewater systems to ensure property owners are meeting their obligations by regularly servicing their septic systems.
Since the Safe Septic programme began, staff in Healthy Waters and Regulatory Services have been working with servicing companies and communities to raise awareness of their maintenance obligations. Under the Auckland Unitary Plan, property owners are responsible for maintaining their onsite wastewater systems.
“These systems can be really expensive to replace, but regular maintenance, taking care of what goes down your drains, and protecting the disposal field will keep it running well. Think of this like a WOF for your car – a regular check-up gives you assurance it is safe and means you can address small issues before they cause a big stink.” Elizabeth Johnson, Safe Septic programme lead
What do I need to do?
- Contact a private company to arrange a service. Your basic septic tank needs to be serviced every three years. A modern aerated system needs to be serviced every six months. You can expect them to clean out any pumps and filters, address any blockages in the tank or disposal field pipes, and advise you of further repairs or improvements that could be made. They will also be able to tell you if the system needs to be pumped out. Service costs range between $100 and $250 depending on the system. Search online for septic tank maintenance in Auckland to find your local professional.
- Take care of your system in between services. The bacteria living in the tank love organic matter, but will not be able to do their job of treating your wastewater if there is bleach in the water, or if wipes get into the system.
Fines can be issued if property owners are unwilling to repair problems or provide proof of maintenance.
Questions? Visit www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/septictanks or email firstname.lastname@example.org