Environment, Local News

Auckland Council may finance upgrade

2 Comments 22 January 2016

Auckland Council may finance upgrade to your septic system

Money stressDo you know if your septic system is working properly ?  Are you stressing at the cost of upgrading?   Wait – there may be finance help, repaid through your rates, on the way.   Now that’ll help for sure.

Extracts from Council Minutes Item 12 Page 71

1.  To approve the development and delivery of a financial assistance programme to encourage homeowners to upgrade and/or replace failing on-site wastewater systems (septic tanks) to reduce faecal contamination of waterways.

Western Lagoons Proposed – Financial Assistance Pilot

30.  The cost of replacing or upgrading OSWW systems ranges from $15,000 to $35,000. There
are a range of potential financial incentive tools available to Council to assist homeowners to
overcome the financial barrier associated with septic tank upgrade including grants,
subsidies, rate rebates and repaid finance assistance.
Love our Lagoons31.  This report recommends that a repayable financial assistance pilot for OSWW is made available to homeowners to replace or upgrade their failing systems. This assistance would be fully repaid, over a period of up to 15 years, via a voluntary targeted rate. Given that the financial assistance would be repaid via a voluntary targeted rate, the proposal needs to be included in the Annual Plan 2016/17 consultation process.
18. In September 2013, following a report into the sources of contamination at the west coast lagoons the Environment and Sustainability Forum resolved that an action plan should be created to improve water quality in the lagoons at Karekare, Piha, North Piha and Bethells (Res No. ES/2013/57).
19. These lagoons are often not safe to swim in because of faecal contamination. Investigations have shown that in these areas the contamination comes from a range of sources, including poorly performing septic systems, dogs, birds and livestock.

20. Recent work in the west coast lagoons suggests that the number of the failing systems could be significant. Earlier in 2015 29 OSWW systems were checked as part of a voluntary inspection offered free of charge to the homeowners in the catchment. Forty percent of those systems had significant issues with some newer systems having similar problems as older systems due to a lack of maintenance. Upgrading or replacing OSWW systems will contribute to improving water quality, however how people use and maintain their OSWW systems is also important to their proper functioning.

21. The West Coast Lagoons action plan includes education, incentives and enforcement to improve OSWW system performance and therefore water quality in the lagoon catchments.

27. Operating since 1998, Council’s Waitakere pump-out programme provides triennial pump-outs and cleaning of on-site waste-water treatment systems including septic tanks, long drops, grease traps and grey water systems. This programme covers approximately 4,300 systems across the rural parts of the legacy Waitakere City Council area (being parts of Upper Harbour, Henderson-Massey and Waitakere Ranges local board areas). This pump out programme is funded via a targeted (rural sewage) rate.

READ it all here in Council Minutes Item 12 Page 71

Local Matters“Earlier this year, Council inspected 29 waste-water systems on the West Coast, and found 40 per cent of systems had significant issues. Even newer systems had problems due to a lack of maintenance.”  Read the full article 

Your Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Sally says:

    “triennial pump-outs and cleaning of on-site waste-water treatment systems “. Really? I thought they just emptied them. How do they clean them?

  2. Sandra Coney says:

    The Waitakere Ranges Local Board went into bat to get this loan scheme as a pilot which will be held at Piha and Waiheke. It has worked well for insulating homes and this new scheme is modelled on that. People need to support the proposal through the Annual Plan consultation early this year, and if supported
    it will come into force from 1 July.
    Sandra Coney
    Chair Waitakere Ranges Local Board

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