In this section

Some property owners have their own private wastewater system and others are connected to our sewerage system. We maintain the network up to the properties' boundaries and we are responsible for the treatment and disposal of collected wastewater. Property owners must maintain their pipes from the boundary and up to the inside of their house. All connections to our sewerage system require pre-approval and must be supervised by our maintenance contractor.


Connecting to our network

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.

  • A building consent is always required to connect to our sewer mains (when available)
  • Once your consent is granted and only for connections that are not part of a new subdivision/development, the owner (or contractor acting on behalf of the owner) must request our contractor Sicon supervise the shutdown of our main and the new connection by submitting a new connection approval form at least 10 days prior to the planned connection date.
  • In Rolleston IPort area new connections to our pressure sewer systems must be supervised by our maintenance contractor SICON Ltd. Contractors must submit the new connection approval form to arrange for the supervision of the new connection.

Private wastewater systems

  • Properties owners with no access to our reticulated system must have their private septic tank and pressure system installed.

Decommissioning an old septic tank


Waste water 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.

Your responsibility

  • 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.

Our responsibility

  • 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.

Refer to our Wastewater Drainage Bylaw 2016 [PDF, 628 KB] for more information.


Blockage and drain 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

  • If you identify a problem on your private property or private section of the main, call a drain layer, preferably one with CCTV capability.
  • If you identify the problem as being on the wastewater main and laterals on public land, call us and we will repair issues on our wastewater mains and laterals in a timely manner.
  • All costs for any work undertaken via your engagement will be wholly borne by the owner. No reimbursement of any work undertaken via a Private engagement will be made.

Note that approximately 70% of blockages in wastewater laterals are found in the private section.

Figure 1.

Figure 2.

Figure 3.

Properties with privately owned tanks (see fig.3 above)

  • 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.

Our wastewater infrastructure

  • We have 15 reticulated wastewater systems that service 55% of properties within the district and are connected to a treatment plant.
  • Overall there are 49 pump stations and eight wastewater treatment and disposal plants. Total length of the reticulation is 250km.
  • The Pines Waste Water Treatment plant was constructed in 2012 as a modular plant with disposal to an 80 ha irrigation area. Further additions are planned between 2019 and 2020.

Further information about the districts wastewater schemes is available in the 5Waters Activity Management Plans.