Faecal Matters

If you’re a property owner on Aotea Great Barrier Island, you likely received a letter from Auckland Council about the ‘new’ septic servicing compliance rules.

Auckland Council now require wastewater systems to be serviced, maintained or fixed if there is a serious problem that could affect public health or the environment.

The Auckland Unitary Plan states, “It is your responsibility to ensure your wastewater system operates to a safe and satisfactory standard.”

Our off grid and remote status makes us a special place, but means all our homes and businesses manage their own wastewater. Leaky and poorly maintained septic systems leach germ laden wastewater into the environment, seeping into streams, coastal creeks and our beautiful beaches.

Pa Beach – Tryphena

Previously, sampling in several streams in the Tryphena Catchment area frequently had levels of faecal indicator bacteria elevated above the alert level of the water quality guidelines for recreational activity.

A report in 2017 set out to determine the source of faecal matter in the streams. Several key sources of contamination were found including livestock, horses, dogs, cat, birds and humans. This contamination can run downstream to our favourite swimming spots.

One step towards ensuring our beaches don’t  pop up red flagged on the Safeswim website, is to take responsibility for our wastewater. Not only does this protect the environment, but it protects your investment too.

Standard septic tank – Auckland Council
High tech treatment system – Auckland Council

There are certified experts who can service, repair or pump out your wastewater system. These providers are listed on the Auckland Council website and supply the forms to council required for compliance.

Locally, there are two on-site waste watersystem service providers: Barrier Drainage and Aotea Maintenance. Find their details below.

Barrier Drainage | 021 127 9190 | Info@barrierdrainage.co.nz

Aotea Maintenance | 020 4093 6608 | Info@aoteamaintenance.co.nz

Contact the Council service centre for more to specific queries and they will forward you to the right team.

Looking for general septic maintenance advice?

Visit Auckland Council’s website