Every home on Waiheke has a septic tank; it is a ‘living’ system and is sensitive to what you put in it. Whatever you wash into a drain will end up in the septic tank so:

  • Don’t flush anything down the toilet except toilet paper and human waste
  • Don’t put excessive amounts of waste water through the system – if you have an approved grey water system you can reuse grey water etc for gardening purposes
  • Avoid tipping grease, oil, coffee grounds etc down the plughole.
  • Make sure household cleaners and detergents can be safely used in septic tanks. Avoid using bleach as this is particularly harmful to septic systems. We recommend Eco Store products available online or at your local supermarket. 
  • We recommend tipping the liquid from your Bokashi Composting system down your toilet once a week. This helps with the natural environment of the Septic Tank and reduces odours in your plumbing. It will help to get your septic back to a healthy state and may reduce the frequency of your 3 year pump-out!

 Getting your septic tank pumped out

Under the Waiheke Wastewater Bylaw you are required to pump out your septic tank every three years.  You need to arrange this yourself with one of the local septic pump out companies (Greenacres or Salters Cartage).  This is the process:

1.     You will receive a pump-out reminder letter from Council or from your usual pump-out company when your three yearly pump out is due

2.     Contact your service provider to arrange a time for your pump-out

3.     The contractor will pump out the solids from your septic tank and leave it how they found it.

4.     The contractor will complete a pump-out inspection report.  Ensure that your provider provides a copy of the report to Auckland Council, or send a copy to Wastewater Officer, P.O Box 254, Ostend, Waiheke Island.

5.     A copy of the inspection report will be filed on your property site file

You may apply for an exemption to the three yearly pump-out  - for instance if the level of solids is sufficiently low as to provide good operating capacity for a period longer than three years.  This will require an inspection and letter from a recognised service provider.


Hi-tech septic tanks

If you have a hi-tech septic tank you need a maintenance agreement with a recognised service provider to make sure your tank is serviced regularly and functioning correctly.  If you do not already have a maintenance agreement  in place, contact the installer or manufacturer of your hi-tech septic tank to arrange a maintenance agreement or for advice.  Hi-tech systems should be serviced at least every six months by a recognised service provider. 

Waterless Composting Toilets

For information on Waterless Composting Toilets, visit our page on Water Saving


Compliance with the Bylaw

The Waiheke Wastewater Bylaw also allows Council to make the necessary inspections and investigations to determine the location and condition of your waste water treatment system and to determine if the system is operating correctly.  If your system is causing environmental pollution, a health nuisance or a risk to others, you may be required to have the system pumped out or the necessary repairs made to the treatment and disposal system.

Auckland Council Septic Tank information can be found here

Pump-out Operators



372 7614

Salters Cartage

372 7015


Wastewater Treatment Plant service providers (Hi tech plants)



Stoney Ridge Ltd (Brett MacDonald Concrete Products)

372 6520

Natural Flow Drainage

372 6600

Jet Waste Ltd

09 415 1538

Innow Flow wastewater specialists (S3 Limited)

09 426 1027

Hynds Environmental

09 271 9503

Hugh Richards Drainage Contractor

372 8306

Hydrovac Ltd

09 887 4776

APH Building Services (Robb Henry)

0274 643 784

CBC Wastewater (Craig Brown)

372 9190

Waiheke Wastewater (Marc Keen)

372 7158

 Performance ranking of NZ on-site domestic Waste Water Treatment Plants

  • water nz journal oset performance ranking 19 may 2015
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 NZ Water On-site Waste Water system information for home owners 

  • on site wastewater systems maintenance guidelines for homeowners
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  • on site wastewater systems information booklet for homeowners
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