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Auckland Council

Maintain your septic tank

Āta tiakina tō taika para

​Maintain your septic system to prevent leaks of sewage waste.

How to care for your septic tank system

Septic tanks need a pump-out service every three to five years to remove scum and sludge buildup.

The frequency of maintenance will depend on your system. How often you pump out also depends on the amount of water you use.

If your septic tank, long drop or grease trap gets blocked, overflows, or smells bad, it also needs a repair.

Find septic tank contractors in the Yellow Pages website. Search for 'Septic tank services'.

Upgrade your septic tank

Upgrade your septic tank to suit your property and lifestyle, if:

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

These changes put more strain on your septic tank. Maintenance alone is not sufficient.

If you live in Little Oneroa or in a West Coast lagoon catchment area, see Apply for a loan to upgrade or replace your septic tank.

Septic tank upgrade consent fee subsidy

You can apply for a consent fee subsidy for upgrading your septic tank if you live within the catchment areas of Little Oneroa lagoon in Waiheke or any of these west coast lagoon areas:

  • Piha.
  • Piha North.
  • Bethells/Te Henga.
  • Karekare.

Your consent application must comply with consent requirements.

For information, see subsidy guides:

Contact us to know more.

Waitakere pump-out programme

We pump out standard septic tanks, long drops and grease traps every three years for properties in Waitakere.

This does not cover hi-tech septic tank systems which need more frequent maintenance.

We add a wastewater charge to rates for properties with a standard septic tank, long drop or grease trap to cover for this service.

Waiheke Island pump-out requirement

The Waiheke Wastewater Bylaw requires septic tanks to be pumped out once every three years.

To arrange a pumping service or inspection, Waiheke property owners can call:

Provide a copy of the receipt to the Waiheke Service Centre within 14 days of having the tank pumped out. The service provider will complete an inspection report and send a copy to us.

If the solid build-up is low enough, you can apply for exemption from the pump-out every three years. Arrange for a professional service provider to inspect your septic tank.

Your provider will need to send us a letter stating the results of their inspection.

Hi-tech septic tank systems

If you have a hi-tech septic tank system, you need to have it serviced every six months. Contact the installer or manufacturer of your hi-tech system to arrange maintenance.

We do not charge the additional wastewater charge to your rates if you have a hi-tech system.

If you're not sure if you have a hi-tech system, or believe you're incorrectly charged, contact us on 09 301 0101.

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