A household, work space or other accommodation option all generate a wastewater stream. Toilet flows, kitchen water, shower and laundry water all need to be managed onsite where there is no reticulated council sewer.
You or your wastewater designer will need to assess the proposal and site against the applicable zone and area rules for a wastewater discharge to land to determine whether a resource consent is needed in addition to a building consent.
If unsure contact the council duty planner for initial advice.
The wastewater regulation process sets out rules by the council to ensure your onsite wastewater system works properly.
These rules are designed to make sure there is no health risk to people, no bad smells or environmental contamination to ground water, surface water or land from your onsite wastewater system.
The rules are created by two separate Government acts:
All on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems must have building consent.
The Council's building inspectors monitor and enforce compliance with Building Act regulations during construction and installation of the wastewater treatment and disposal system.
The Tasman Resource Management Plan sets regulations designed to reduce any environmental harm from an activity. In the case of on-site wastewater the regulations are designed to reduce any environmental harm from discharging sewage into the environment.
All on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems must comply with a "Permitted Activity" rule in the Tasman Resource Management Plan or else be authorised by a Resource Consent.
The Council's Compliance Officers monitor and enforce compliance with the RMA and TRMP regulations together with any Resource Consent conditions.
The council requires people designing wastewater systems to have the appropriate skills and accreditations to undertake site and soil assessments.
Confirmation of appropriate wastewater design accreditation may be required at the time of building consent application.
Ask your designer to confirm they have the necessary accreditation to design wastewater systems.
These people have been trained to work out the best way of treating and disposing of (or reusing) domestic wastewater so that it will work well for many years without causing pollution or risk to health.
Pressure wastewater systems differ from conventional gravity systems in that they depend on a pumping unit to remove the wastewater from the property. A small pumping unit is installed on the property to pump household wastewater into the Council's wastewater reticulation located within the street.
Pressure wastewater systems are generally used in areas that are low-lying, flat and have a high water table. Pressure wastewater systems require the Council's approval.
If you have a pressure wastewater system on your property, you should read the guidance:
This guide contains best practice principles for operating and managing waterless composting toilets.
This guide contains best practice principles for managing household wastewater on your property.