What is wastewater?

Every day we deliver safe drinking water to your home through our drinking water network. Some of this water is used outside (watering your garden, washing your car etc.), but most of it is used by you inside your house:

  • In the bathroom: toilets, sinks (brushing your teeth, shaving, washing your hands and face) and showering / bathing
  • Kitchen: Sinks (washing dishes and preparing food) and using the dishwasher.
  • Laundry: Cleaning your clothes by using the washing machine and sink.

Once used, this water leaves your home as ‘wastewater’, through your plumbing and into the public wastewater network.

Our wastewater network carries a combination of residential and commercial (businesses) waste.

Wastewater contains 99% water and about 1% human and other waste.

Because the waste component contains many bacteria and viruses that could be harmful to human health, it’s important it is kept separate from the drinking water network. This is in accordance with the Health Act 1956.

Maori culture also places high value on avoiding contamination of water with wastewater. We work closely with our iwi partners to ensure that wastewater discharges, whether overflows or otherwise do not adversely affect the cultural values and practices attributed to water ways by our mana whenua partners.

All wastewater is carried along the wastewater network and treated at one of our wastewater treatment plants, before being discharged out to sea, unlike the stormwater network which mostly flows straight out through streams and rivers before ending out at sea.

The treatment plants are managed in accordance with the Resource Management Act 1991.

 

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