Did you know that Auckland Council requires property owners to provide their inspection and maintenance records for septic tanks and onsite wastewater systems? We asked a representative from the Auckland Council to answer some of the more common questions we are being asked — find them below…
Q. How often do I need to service my onsite wastewater system or septic tank to pass inspection?
A. If you have a traditional septic tank you need to have your system inspected every 3 years. If you have an onsite wastewater treatment plant (this will usually have a pump, air blower or aeration pump) you need to have your system inspected every 6 months.
An inspection includes a check of the individual components of your system and your disposal field. The technician will also tell you if it needs to be pumped out – tanks must be emptied when solids fill 50% of the tank volume.
Q. When do the rules about having to keep records of our wastewater services come into effect?
A. Now. The Auckland Unitary Plan sets rules for maintenance of onsite wastewater systems. These rules require property owners to make records available to Council on request. The compliance monitoring programme, where Council is requesting records, began in 2018 in areas with known water-quality problems. Since 2020, Council has started requesting records from other parts of Auckland.
Q. Is this just a council revenue-gathering scheme? What is the need for this?
A. There are beaches and streams that are being contaminated with human waste. This is a health risk for people and harms the environment. When onsite wastewater systems are properly cared for, there is less contamination in the waterways. Auckland Council doesn’t get any revenue from company inspections, and only issues fines when property owners refuse to comply.
Q. When and how will the council check my service records?
A. Your service technician either fills in an online form that is automatically sent to the council on the day of your inspection, or sends a copy of a paper form. Auckland Council staff will review records as they come in and follow up any compliance problems, like failing disposal fields or illegal effluent discharge. Auckland Council may also request a copy of your latest inspection record so you should hold copies of your inspection record.
At HydroVac, we have a very good working relationship with the Council compliance team and are more than happy to help you work through any issues you have, including updating the council on work you have completed to rectify issues, such as replacement fields, repairs or tank empties.
If you require an inspection or service on your on-site wastewater treatment system (needed every 6 months), an inspection of your septic tank (needed every three years), or just have questions, please contact us