About CBC Wastewater

CBC Wastewater is based on Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf and a part of the Auckland Region, New Zealand. CBC can be contracted to do design work for onsite wastewater systems across New Zealand. Typical work includes:

CBC are also available for the following types of work:

  • Larger scale on-site wastewater systems
  • On-site wastewater treatment and discharge in sewered areas
  • Expert witness work
  • Conference presentations on topics such as on-site wastewater systems and sustainability, legislation and rules, greywater treatment and the history of wastewater treatment


CBC designs water and wastewater systems which best suit the client and the site, rather than specifying a package solution to each situation. With this approach there are a number of areas which require fine judgement and consultation:

  • Installation cost vs operation and maintenance costs
  • Ease of gaining consent vs most desired system
  • Proven technology vs exciting innovations

CBC believes in working with clients to achieve their aims, which includes providing clients with the information they need to make decisions, not choosing a system for them without consultation. CBC typically charges a set fee that includes everything up to the issuing of consent, so there are no disbursements, additional charges for dealing with council queries or other nasty surprises.

Praise for CBC Wastewater

Arhaus have worked with Craig Brown on a number of projects regarding water treatment and greywater systems. We value Craig’s passion and independent, un-biased solutions based on what is best for the site and the client’s needs. His reports are extremely thorough, good value for money and Craig takes ownership in dealing with council to make sure information is processed as smoothly as possible.

Dan Heyworth, Founder of Arhaus Sustainable Design & Build

We recently upgraded the wastewater system on our property at Palm Beach, not a simple process given the steepness and inaccessibility of the site and the array of options available.  Craig Brown’s scoping report investigated all the possibilities and enabled us to choose the right system for the site.  We then commissioned Craig to write the report for Council for building consent and oversee the system’s installation.  We have been impressed by Craig’s thoughtful and thorough approach and his willingness to go the extra mile to help us achieve the best possible outcome for our property.

Anna, Palm Beach

I commissioned Craig to manage a complex wastewater design and installation project for a studio that I built adjacent to my home, incorporating a composting toilet and above-ground greywater dispersal system. I found Craig to be efficient, easy to deal with and effective in dealing with the local body agencies. He got the systems processed as a variation, saving consent costs, and helped smooth the process of getting the inevitable design changes approved by council. He managed a complex installation project, dealing with multiple suppliers and contractors, locating and selecting the most suitable products at the best prices. He also made life easy for me by explaining the complexities of systems and products where they were confusing, and gave good advice on the best ways to keep costs down. I’m happy with the performance of the system, its appearance, and the environmental outcome.

Pam, Oneroa

I have contracted Craig Brown to design waste water treatment plans for my house on two occasions. On both projects I have been impressed by his positive helpful attitude, and his excellent advice on what site layout and materials will give the best and most economical solution for my property. His knowledge of the Auckland City Council and old Auckland Regional Council requirements made gaining necessary consents a lot easier than I had expected. Craig also turned up when he said he would and he met all deadlines. I would not hesitate to recommend him.

Geoff Rau, Oneroa

With the conclusion of the Institute’s Annual Conference and Expo held recently at the Viaduct Events Centre, Auckland now behind us it is my pleasure to sincerely thank you for your presentation to our delegates. I can say I for one was fascinated by your historical perspective on water reticulation through the ages. New technology will have its place and your coverage of options available was of interest to all in attendance…thank you for taking the time from your very busy schedule to address the delegates.

Nick Hill, Chief Executive, Building Officials Institute of New Zealand

Thank you both so much for your presentations last week at the EDA conference. Really really great! and we’ve had nothing but positive feed-back from the attendees. I too thought you did an excellent job and the co-presenting thing worked really well, like you’d done it a 100 times before. And a good blend of the science–y big picture stuff and the emotive, common sense real life solution stuff. And Craig, I hadn’t realized what a natural comedian you are, very dry (pun intended) considering your topic and everyone loved the posing for the photo mid sentence. Well done the pair of you for an engaging and entertaining talk on what could be considered a non-glamorous topic. I have to say we (the EDAs) were delighted with the whole day…the whole thing came together wonderfully. So once again, thank you, the EDAs are indebted to you. Looking forward to working together more in the future.

Ian Mayes, Eco Design Advisor

We commissioned Craig to provide expert evidence in an Environment Court appeal and submission to the Regional Council Onsite Effluent Treatment Plan in which he addressed the consideration of alternative sanitation options. It is from this association, that we consider Craig to be a forensic scientist as he is very meticulous in examining the detail and calling in to question the accuracy and rationale behind the evidence, policy and rules. Craig also provided sensible and reasonable solutions to both forums that we would expect will provide superior results due to the increased community buy-in, while also avoiding potential negative cultural effects, but with the flexibility to respond to future social and environmental changes.

Joe Tahana, Secretary, Ngāti Pikiao Environmental Society, Rotorua

System Information and User Experiences


This site includes some basic information about different systems that are available. This information is provided for educational purposes, not to be used for decision making or consent applications and no warranty is provided for its accuracy nor completeness. Wastewater system design must consider a number of variables which are site specific and situation specific. We would love to have the opportunity to quote to do your design.

Visitors to this site are encouraged to contribute their own experiences with onsite wastewater systems. We welcome corrections, opinions, experiences, additional information etc.


On-Site Effluent Treatment (OSET) National Testing Programme (NTP)
There is a national testing programme which grew out of initiative by Environment Bay of Plenty, hence some of the earlier data is held on their website, but later detailed data is not available to the public (only to councils funding the scheme). The test certificates however are an easy-to-understand grading system and these are available from the OSET NTP website.

List of systems available in New Zealand and contact details
Comprehensive list compiled by Ian Gunn (the ones highlighted in green have been through the OSET NTP).

Arhaus Sustainable Design and Build
Arhaus is an architectural design and build company with a focus on efficiency and sustainability. They operate mainly in the Greater Auckland area and are guided by a philosophy of transparency in all they do, particularly with regard to fees and money. CBC is a preferred supplier of wastewater design for Arhaus.

New Zealand Land Treatment Collective
The New Zealand Land Treatment Collective (the ‘NZLTC’) was established in 1989 to support the extension of research into the treatment of wastes and waste products by land application, providing its members with the most recent information on land treatment technology, research and information. The NZLTC website has access to past newsletters.

Lanfax Laboratories
Organisers of the On-Site conference in Australia and source of much information about the content of laundry products (especially useful with regard to greywater reuse).

Country Life Radio Broadcast
Thanks to Marion for sending me this Radio NZ/Country Life radio clip, about a septic tank cleaning business. It has some really good information.

Smarter Homes Website
The Smarter Homes website has a lot of good information about on-site wastewater and greywater.


CBC Wastewater
P.O. Box 655
Waiheke Island
Auckland 1840
+64 (0)9 372 9190