The new reticulated sewerage system in Oakura is an alternative to septic tanks and has been developed to ensure the sustainability of the local environment.
The system includes about 38km of new sewer pipelines, including a pumping main from Oakura to New Plymouth and gravity reticulation within Oakura and five pump stations. The sewage is pumped from Shearer Reserve to Botany Place in New Plymouth via a pipeline along State Highway 45, finally ending up in the New Plymouth Wastewater Treatment Plant for treatment along with the city’s wastewater.
How to get connected to the Oakura sewerage scheme
1. Apply for a building consent.
Forms can be obtained from the Council or the Oakura library, just ask for an Oakura Sewer Connection Pack or contact us for your pack.
2. Include a site plan of the proposed drainage layout with your application.
Your plumber can assist you with this or your plumber may do the application process on your behalf.
3. Return your completed application to us with the application fee.
This application will be submitted to our Building Team for approval. You will be notified in writing within 20 working days if your application has been approved or you will be asked to supply more information.
4. Lay your drainage and carry out your connection to the mains.
This work will need to be done by a plumber and then inspected by a Council Building Inspector.
5. "Go live" on the Oakura sewerage scheme (when your drainage has been approved) and decommission your septic tank.
There are minimum requirements for decommissioning your septic tank and a follow-up inspection for approval is required.
6. Apply for a Code Compliance Certificate
This can be done once your decommissioned septic tank has been approved. The application form will be included in your approved building consent. All this information will be added to your Property File held at the Council.
Common questions about the Oakura sewerage scheme
Do I have to use the Council sewer system?
No. Existing dwellings may continue to use their existing treatment system/septic tank so long as it is operating satisfactorily. However, all new buildings and also any existing buildings with a defective septic tank system will be required to connect to the new system.
What will it cost to be connected?
The cost of the private drainage will vary from property to property, and you are advised to engage a qualified plumber to do this work for you.
You will also need a building consent.
Once connected, you must pay an annual charge for the sewer service as part of your rates.
What will happen to my septic tank?
When properties connect to the new system, septic tanks and other treatment systems will need to be decommissioned and made safe in accordance with our requirements (Policy P96-012 “… require the system to be opened up and emptied where appropriate and then filled with sand or other similar inert material or generally made safe from collapse or otherwise by an approved method”).
What happens if I don’t join?
After the scheme is in service, properties not connected may be inspected and required to connect if their on-site system is not operating satisfactorily.
Where will my lateral (pipe connection) be and how will this be marked?
The exact location of laterals has been marked on-site with a pink or white peg. Contact us for the approximate depth to the lateral.
Please note: The lateral has been installed at the point as close as practical, but on the road reserve side, of your property boundary.
I need a common private drain (shared pipe) with my neighbour. Who is responsible for constructing this?
Some properties require a common pipe to convey sewage to the scheme (referred to as common private drains). You will need to make you own arrangements for common private drains and obtain any private easements required.
How do I get my septic tank decommissioned?
Septic tanks must be completely emptied by a licensed contractor. This is important, as effluent contains bacteria and viruses that could make you or your family ill.
- The septic tank can then be removed or the bottom holed and the lid/lids broken up and thrown in the bottom of tank. This is to make the tank safe from future collapse and prevent liquid build-up.
- The septic tank must be filled with sand or other inert material. This is to avoid future ground subsidence.
We realise that in some situations septic tanks are in hard to reach positions, but for health and safety reasons the decommission process has to be done. Some residents have asked if septic tanks could be kept as a back-up, but this is not permitted.