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Te whakahaere i te waikapurangi i tō wāhi noho

Managing wastewater on your property

​Avoid harm to the environment by keeping your on-site wastewater system and disposal field working well. If you are building a new system or upgrading, check the consent requirements.

Watch this video on YouTube (2:13).

Read the transcript of this video.

Types of wastewater systems

Most properties in Auckland are connected to Watercare's piped network and pay for water supply and wastewater collection and treatment.

Households in rural areas and on the Hauraki Gulf islands often do not have access to Watercare's network. They have on-site wastewater systems to treat their sewage and other wastewater.

Primary systems

A primary system has a septic tank and disposal field. These units tend to be older and use simple technology.

Secondary or tertiary systems

Secondary and tertiary systems have multiple treatment tanks and a disposal field. They often use electric pumps and have multiple chambers for increased filtration.

Other systems

Other systems include composting toilets and worm farms, which have their own maintenance requirements.

Email us at safeseptic@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz or contact your system manufacturer if you are unsure of your maintenance requirements.

Maintaining your wastewater system

As a property owner, you are responsible for maintaining your on-site wastewater system and knowing how it works.

All on-site wastewater systems need to dispose of the water used in your home. In most cases, this is a disposal field. This area is where the treated water from your septic tank is distributed. It may be lawn or bush. The area should not be used by vehicles or stock.

If the area is boggy, smelly or overgrown, there might be a leak that needs to be repaired.

Proof of maintenance

In July 2022, we sent letters to property owners to request their proof of maintenance.

This letter explains:

  • the type of proof we need to see
  • how long you have to submit your records.

Failure to maintain your system may result in a fine or penalty.

Who can service your on-site wastewater system

There are many companies in Auckland who service, pump out and repair on-site wastewater systems.

The companies listed in the table use our standard form for servicing. They provide this form directly to us on your behalf.

Company name and contact

Service areas

System and service types

​Abbotts Drainage Ltd

reception@abbotts.co.nz

09 274 6785

​Auckland-wide, including islands

​Primary and secondary

Service, pump-out and drainlaying

Affordable Drainage Ltd

admin@affordabledrainage.co.nz

09 833 8953

North, west, south

Primary and secondary

Service, pump-out and drainlaying

Alpha Drainage

alphadrainage@gmail.com

022 635 2140

North, west

Primary and secondary

Service, pump-out and drainlaying

Aotea Maintenance

info@aoteamaintenance.co.nz

020 4093 6608

Aotea / Great Barrier Island

All systems

Service

Approved Wastewater

info@approvedwastewater.co.nz

09 420 9042

North, west

Secondary

Service and drainlaying

A-Rated Wastewater

kath@aratedwastewater.co.nz

027 418 2969

North, west, south

Service

ASR Group Limited

Team@asrgroup.co.nz

021 918 397

Auckland-wide, including islands

Primary and secondary

Service, drainlaying and pump-out

​Barrier Drainage Ltd

Septicservicing@barrierdrainage.co.nz

0211279190

​Aotea / Great Barrier Island

​All systems

Service, pump-out and drainlaying

Cleartech

david@cleartechinstallations.co.nz

021 628 847

North, west

Primary and secondary

Service and drainlaying

​Coppertop Plumbing Drainlaying Gasfitting Ltd

info@coppertop.co.nz

092 390 088

​South

​All systems

Service, pump-out and drainlaying

​Devco Maintenance Ltd

devcomaintenance@gmail.com

0204 0451 094
​South

​Primary and secondary

Service

Drainage Gods

drainagegodsltd@outlook.com

021 244 2652

North, west

Primary and secondary

Service and pump-out

Drain Ninjas

admin@drainninjas.co.nz

0800 464 652

Auckland-wide, including islands

All systems

Service, pump-out and drainlaying

Echo Drainage

doug@echodrainage.co.nz

021 416 420

North, west

Primary and secondary

Service, pump-out and drainlaying

Emcole

peter@emcole.co.nz

09 666 0037

Auckland-wide, including islands

All systems

Service and drainlaying

​Enviro Water

admin@envirowater.co.nz

0800 103 040

​Auckland-wide, including islands

​Primary and secondary

Service, pump-out and drainlaying

Hammerhead Contractors Ltd

andrew@hammerheadcontractors.co.nz

027 549 2147

North, west, south

Primary and secondary

Service, drainlaying and pump-out

Haus Plumbing

info@hausplumbing.co.nz

0800 888 380

North

Primary and secondary

Service and pump-out

Helensville Drainage

hlvdrainage@xtra.co.nz

021 657276

North, west

Primary, secondary and vermiculture

Service and drainlaying

Hydrovac

wastewater@hydrovac.co.nz

0800 493 768

North, west, south, Waiheke

All systems

Service and pump-out

I Suk Up

Isukupltd1999@gmail.com

027 2392167

North, west

Primary

Service and pump-out

Jet Waste & Water Limited

VanessaL@jetwaste.co.nz

021 707 954

Auckland-wide, including islands

Primary and secondary

Service

Kaukapakapa Drainage Ltd

Gary@kdrainage.nz

021 926 301

North, west

Primary and secondary

Service and drainlaying

Laser Plumbing Warkworth

warkworth@laserplumbing.co.nz

09 422 9051

North

All systems

Service and drainlaying

Macjimray

sarah@macjimray.co.nz

09 423 7014

North

Primary and secondary

Service and pump-out

​Nexus Plumbing

admin@nexuspgd.com

021 837 775

​North, west, south

​Primary

Service, pump-out and drainlaying

PASLR Crucial Services Ltd

service@paslr.co.nz

09 414 3668

North, west

Secondary

Service, pump-out and drainlaying

Pure Water and Plumbing and Drainage

purewaterplumbing-drainage@hotmail.com

027 283 6280

North

Primary and secondary

Service and drainlaying

​Seal Plumbing and Gas

steve@sealplumbing.co.nz

021 797 912
​North, west, south

​Primary and secondary

Service and pump-out

​Septiclean

septiclean@slingshot.co.nz

0800 687 378 (0800 MTSEPTIC)
​South

​Primary

Service and pump-out

​Southeys Group Ltd

steph@southeysgroup.com

09 411 8339
​North, west, south

​All systems

Service and pump-out

​SST Services (Skybridge NZ)

sstseptictanks@gmail.com

09 294 7611
​South

​Primary, secondary and vermiculture

Service and pump-out

Stoney Ridge

info@stoneyridge.co.nz

09 372 6520

Waiheke

All systems

Service and pump-out

​Tanks and Drains Ltd

info@tanksanddrains.nz

0800 767 555

​North, west

​Primary and secondary

Service and drainlaying

TDG Environmental

KBarnes@tdgenvironmental.com

0800 249 376

North, west, south

Primary

Service and pump-out

The Drain Company

info@thedraincompany.co.nz

0800 247 862

North, west, south, Waiheke

Primary and secondary

Service, pump-out and drainlaying

Wai Water

todd.jolly@hotmail.com

09 818 1659

North, west, south

Primary

Service

Waiuku Waste Disposal

info@waiukuwastedisposal.co.nz

09 235 9066

South

Primary

Pump-out

Waterflow

operations@waterflow.co.nz

09 431 0042

Auckland-wide, including islands

All systems

Service

Waterprojects

karen@waterprojects.co.nz

0508 334 455

North, west, south

Primary and secondary

Service

We do not guarantee the work carried out by any service provider.

We recommend using a company approved by your system manufacturer.

Rules for on-site wastewater systems

The rules for inspecting and maintaining on-site wastewater systems are set by the Auckland Unitary Plan (PDF 65.8KB).

At minimum:

  • a primary system needs to be inspected every three years
  • a secondary or tertiary system needs to be inspected every six months.

Maintenance involves inspecting your system and cleaning or repairing any parts that might be blocked, damaged or worn.

The sludge and scum need to be pumped out when it fills half the volume of the tank. This work should always be done by a trained professional.

Faulty on-site wastewater systems

Without proper maintenance, your system can stop treating your wastewater.

Faulty on-site wastewater systems can harm human health and the environment.

Your system needs maintenance if you notice:

  • a blockage or overflow of sewage waste
  • broken tank lids
  • murky or smelly puddles on your property
  • scum and sludge build-up in your septic tank.

Where you can, avoid:

  • overloading your system with too much water
  • letting rain into your system
  • putting harsh cleaning products, other chemicals, food waste or rubbish into your system.

If you do not maintain your system properly, you can be fined for each day the faulty system is used.

Upgrade your on-site wastewater system

The design of your on-site wastewater system needs to suit the way it is used. Review your on-site wastewater system if:

  • you are renovating your house
  • more people will live on your property
  • your summer holiday home becomes your permanent residence
  • you start to host a lot of visitors.

The above changes mean more water will flow through your system, putting more strain on how well your tanks and disposal field can treat your sewage and wastewater.

If you upgrade your on-site wastewater system or build a new one, you will need to apply for a building consent and may need a resource consent.

See Install or alter an on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system.

Waitākere pump-out programme

We pump out standard septic tanks, long drops, greywater tanks and grease traps every three years for properties in the former Waitākere Local Board area.

If you own property in this area, you pay a targeted rate for this service, but you still need to arrange your own inspections with a private company every three years.

This pump-out programme does not cover secondary or tertiary systems, which need maintenance every six months.

More information

Contact septic.tank@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz for more information about the Waitākere pump-out programme.

Email safeseptic@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz for information about maintenance and water quality concerns.

Useful wastewater documents

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