Consent info

The following information is provided on an advisory/informational basis only and applies to the Auckland Region. No warranty is provided as to accuracy or applicability. You are advised to confirm requirements for your specific situation with your local or regional council or a qualified wastewater consultant. CBC are able to advise on your specific situation (we do occasionally work outside of the Auckland Region).

Permitted Activities

It is a Permitted Activity to discharge wastewater, so long as one of these rules are met. If you meet the rules, including all the conditions, then you may discharge wastewater on your property. The most common rule (5.5.20) for residential sections requires a discharge of less than 2 cubic metres per day and that you have at least 1.5 square metres of gross lot area (section size) for every litre of wastewater produced each day.

Note: the volume produced is based on the fixtures of the dwelling and the number of bedrooms, not the actual amount produced. The reason for this is that the dwelling may change in use (e.g. have more or different occupants with different habits) and the wastewater system must be designed to cope with that.

The design under rule 5.5.20 cannot be for less than 120 litres per person per day and the treatment system must achieve secondary treatment levels. Dripper lines must be used for the irrigation of the wastewater.  Additionally, the design must follow the rules set out in Auckland Council’s Technical Publication 58  (2004), such as those relating to site evaluation, treatment and disposal system design and receiving environment separation distances. It is recommended that a consultant undertake the design, who is qualified to assess the site and soil and make (or help you to make) design decisions about the type of treatment system and the location and nature of the wastewater fields.

For larger properties or smaller discharges, primary treatment (eg a septic tank) may be used, so long as the design is for not less than 160 litres per person per day and there are 3 square metres of land set aside for irrigation for every litre of wastewater produced every day. This information relates to rule 5.5.23.

When you apply for a building consent, your local council will require you to demonstrate that your wastewater system is compliant with one of these, or one of the other, rules set out in this document. The rules may be categorised as follows:

  • rule 5.5.20 – wastewater discharges on small properties
  • rule 5.5.21 – existing wastewater discharges
  • rule 5.5.22 – wastewater discharges on properties without permanent power
  • rule 5.5.23 – wastewater discharges on large properties

Demonstrating compliance usually requires a qualified wastewater consultant’s report.

Controlled Activities

Applications falling outside of the above permitted activity rules are considered controlled activities, so long as the system follows the ‘principles, procedures and parameter ranges’ set out in TP58.

Controlled activites necessitate an application to the council for a discharge consent, but are usually not notified and usually don’t require approval of affected parties.

There is greater expense involved in making an application for discharge consent, including:

  • a higher consent fee
  • a more involved and thus more expensive consultant’s report
  • ongoing monitoring fees

However there are also a number of advantages to applying for discharge consent:

  • more flexibility in design (eg non-standard systems may be used, subject to council’s decision)
  • potentially more bedrooms allowed than would be otherwise
  • the option to use a greywater system for irrigation and/or to reduce the disposal area
  • possibility of gaining a consent that would otherwise be declined

Discretionary and Prohibited Activities

Existing deep bore disposal of wastewater where there is no viable alternative and anything else which does not fall under these rules is a Discretionary Activity.

New deep bores are Prohibited Activities.

Further Information

CBC intends to update this page with further information relevant to on-site domestic wastewater disposal, especially relating to the consent process, but also with information in the future about basic design principles and rules. Feel free to contact us with your queries or requests:

Other Sources of Information

The Auckland Regional Council has good information on its website.

TP58 is available to borrow from many council offices and libraries, or can be purchased from Auckland Council. A very small amount of it is available online.

New Zealand Standards 1547:2000 (On-site Domestic Wastewater Management) [presently under revision and due for release in 2009 (update in 2012 – still not released!)]; 1546.1:2008 (Septic Tanks); 1546.2:2008 (Waterless Composting Toilets); and 1547.3:2008 Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS). Please note that the TP58 guidelines state that:

It is important to note that these guidelines are not based on the AS/NZS standards, and in the Auckland region at least, TP58 remains the guidelines against which wastewater system design specifications will be assessed. This requirement is enshrined within legislation through the rules in ARC’s Transitional Regional Plan and the Proposed Auckland Regional Plan: Air, Land and Water.

%d bloggers like this: