In this section
Connecting to the sewerage system
If you are a homeowner planning to build a new home that involves a water or wastewater connection, it’s a good idea to seek advice from a drainlayer, architect, engineer or other qualified person. They will know the requirements and standards with which you must comply.
When our reticulated system is accessible
- A building consent is required to connect to the sewer mains (when available).
When our reticulated system is not accessible
- Properties owners with no access to our reticulated system must have their private septic tank and pressure system installed. We operate two septage pits - Ardlui Road and Bleakhouse Road. These take septic tank (household and small business) wastewater.
Decommissioning an old septic tank
- Read about how to decommission an old septic tank
How to manage blockage or drain away issues
Depending on the type of system you are connected to your response to a blockage may vary.
Properties connected to a gravity wastewater system (see figures below)
- Call a drainlayer, preferably one with CCTV capability as this may help positively identify the cause.
- Your drainlayer will determine if the blockage is on the private or public (Council) section of the lateral.
- All costs for the work done on private section will be borne by the owner (or owners).
- Council will repair issues on wastewater main and laterals on public land.
Note that approximately 70% of blockages in wastewater laterals are found in the private section.
Properties with privately owned tanks (see figure below)
- Any problems with a pressure wastewater system with privately owned tank are the property owner's responsibility.
- Call a drainlayer to rectify.
- If you suspect that the pump is at fault you should mention when calling that you have a tank and pump and check that the drainlayer has the ability to carry out work on these items.
Applying for consent to Discharge Trade Waste
The Trade Waste Bylaw 2016 regulates the discharge of Trade Waste to a sewerage system operated by the Selwyn District Council. Please refer to the bylaw to understand our requirements and before applying for a temporary or permanent consent to discharge trade waste into the council's sewerage system.
- Please fill in an application for consent to Discharge Trade Waste and send it via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We will acknowledge your application in writing within 10 working days of its receipt.
- Fees apply.
Wastewater pipes ownership and responsibility
The responsibility for maintaining and repairing wastewater pipes that carry wastewater from the house or business to the Council main is shared between the property owner and the Council.
- Check the Certificate of Title to your land, which clearly marks the boundary between private land, public land and common land. It should show the ownership of the wastewater pipes and other services in your property, including those in any easement, such as a Private Lane or Private Right of Way. (Your solicitor should have advised you of your rights and responsibilities when you purchased the property)
- Titles can be ordered through Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). Their website has step by step instructions on how to do this.
- Council owns and is responsible for all wastewater pipes, tanks and laterals, on public land, i.e. from the front boundary of a house on a public street to the front boundary of the house on the opposite side of the street.
- We have 14 reticulated wastewater systems that service 55% of properties within the district and are connected to a treatment plant.
- Overall there are 39 pump stations and eight wastewater treatment and disposal plants. Total length of the reticulation is 250km, varying in diameter from DN50 to DN600.
- The Pines I WWTP constructed in 2012 is a modular plant with disposal to an 80 ha irrigation area. Further additions are planned between 2019 and 2020.
- Pines III upgrades will commence which includes a bioreactor, UV lamps, four blowers, and the addition of another clarifier and irrigation pump.
- The cost of these improvements is $29.7 million and they will be funded largely from development contributions. The wastewater schemes have a replacement value of approximately $193M (excluding land value).
Further information about the districts wastewater schemes is available in the 5Waters Activity Management Plans.