Sewers or sewerage?

What are sewers?Sewers (or wastewater pipes) are the pipes in the street that transport the wastewater to the treatment plant. And sewerage system?

The sewerage system refers to the network of pipes that carry wastewater to the treatment plant.   Find out more here

Wastewater or sewage?

Wastewater or sewage?Wastewater and sewage are the same thing - dirty water from homes and businesses that is sent to a wastewater treatment plant for treatment. It's a mixture of water and human waste.   Read more

Are insinkerators good for the environment?

The short answer is no. Insinkerators are designed to chop up your solid food waste so that it goes down your sink pipe easier (instead of you scooping the food waste out of your sink and putting it in the compost bin or rubbish bin). These small bits of food waste then travel through your wastewater pipes to the council wastewater pipes and onto one of our wastewater treatment plants.   Read more

What's a lateral?

A lateral is the wastewater or stormwater pipe from an individual property to the council main.  The lateral is a continuous pipe which may cross from private to public land (such as a road or recreation reserve), and may serve more than one property.  

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My lateral is blocked or broken. Who pays to fix it?

It depends. Each city has their own bylaw or policy as to who is responsible for fixing a lateral. In general, if the issue is within your property boundary, you are responsible. If the issue is outside your property boundary it depends on which city you live in. See below for a summary of your city’s lateral bylaw or policy.   Read more

What's smoke testing?

Smoke testing equipment in action

Smoke testing involves injecting a dense, non-toxic and odourless smoke into the wastewater network, and then watching to see where the smoke escapes. It's normal for smoke to come out of the sewer vent pipes on roofs of homes and buildings, this doesn't indicate a problem.   Read more

European Appliances - Hard or Soft Water?

If you have a European dishwasher and the instructions are telling you to add softener, read below. The water in Europe is very different to the water here in Wellington. The water in Europe is very hard due to the minerals and calcium it contains.   Therefore softener is required to be added to your dishwasher before commencing its cycle.   Read more