Do your part to keep Auckland’s waterways and ecosystems healthy by ensuring your septic tank is well maintained.
From June 2022, properties not connected to a sewage network will be required to provide Auckland Council with evidence that their sewage system is working well on site. That 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 mains network and pay for sanitation. About 45,000 households in rural areas and the Hauraki Gulf Islands do not have access to this network and rely on on-site sewage systems to treat their sewage and sewage.
In an effort to reduce fecal pollution of our waterways, the Target Water Quality Rating funds on-site sanitation compliance monitoring to ensure property owners meet their obligations by regularly maintaining their treatment plants.
Since the inception of the Safe Septic program, Healthy Waters and Regulatory Services employees have worked with maintenance companies and communities to raise awareness of their maintenance obligations. Under the Auckland Unitary Plan, property owners are responsible for the maintenance of their on-site sewage systems.
“Replacing these systems can be very expensive, but regular maintenance, taking care of what goes down the drain and protecting the disposal field will keep things running well. Think of it like a WOF for your car – regular inspection gives you peace of mind that it’s safe and means you can fix small problems before they cause a big stench.” Elizabeth Johnson, Head of Safe Septic program
What should I do?
- Contact a private company to arrange a service. Your simple septic tank needs maintenance every three years. A modern vented system requires maintenance every six months. You can expect them to clean any pumps and filters, unclog any tank or disposal pipes, and let you know of any other repairs or improvements that might be made. They can also tell you if the system needs to be pumped out. Service costs range from $100 to $250 depending on the system. Search Auckland septic tank maintenance online to find your local professional.
- Maintain your system between maintenances. The bacteria that live in the tank love organic matter, but cannot do their job of cleaning the wastewater if there is bleach in the water or if wipes get into the system.
Fines can be imposed if owners are unwilling to fix problems or provide proof of maintenance.
Questions? Visit www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/septictanks or email [email protected]