Water NZ has helpfully shared some fantastic dos and don’ts around wastewater system use — we could be (happily!) doing ourselves out of a job here because many of the things listed below are the reasons we get called out to help with failures or emergencies!
Have a read of the below and get in touch if you have any questions or concerns — we’re happy to share our knowledge.
Do not overload the system.
- The system has been designed for a maximum daily wastewater volume. Ensure that this is not exceeded.
- Avoid overloading the system with high short duration loads by spacing out water use as evenly as possible. For example: do not do all the washing on one day, and do not run the washing machine and dishwasher at the same time.
Reduce solids input to the treatment unit by:
- scraping all dishes to remove fats, grease, and so on before washing
- keeping all possible solids out of the system
- shake all the dirt and sand off your clothes before washing them
- not using a food waste disposal unit (insinkerator)
- not putting sanitary napkins and other hygiene products into the system
What can go down the drain:
- all that has been first eaten by you
- biodegradable soaps and low phosphorus detergents
- septic-safe disinfectants, bleaches and toilet cleaners in small dilute amounts
- washing machine and dishwasher wastewater
- shower and bath wastewater
- toilet wastewater
- milk and drinks
Minimise discharging the following substances:
- some cold wash laundry agents are aggressively alkaline and can cause septic tank and treatment unit failure
- bleaches, whiteners, nappy soakers, stain removers, disinfectants
- sanitary pads, tampons, disposable nappies, condoms and excessive quantities of paper
- excessive fats, cooking oils and greases
- antiseptics liquids.
Do not discharge the following into the wastewater system:
- DON’T USE flushable wipes. They can block the system
- portable cassette toilet waste (use approved dump stations) • excessive volumes of bleaches and chlorine products
- alkaline detergents such as caustic soda
- acids, pesticides, herbicides, chemicals
- paints, solvents, varnishes and paint thinners
- antibiotics and medicines
- drugs and pharmaceuticals
- motor oil
- toys, clothing, plastic bags and other non-biodegradable products
- storm/roof water
- pool or spa waste
To support the living ecology in the treatment tank and in the land application area:
- use biodegradable soaps
- use a low-phosphorus detergent
- use a low-sodium detergent in dispersive soil areas
- use detergents in the recommended quantities.
Got questions? Reach out to our friendly team — we’re happy to help! Contact Us