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Taumata Arowai role in wastewater and stormwater

Our new water services regulator, Taumata Arowai will have a future role in relation to wastewater and stormwater network performance. From 2023, Taumata Arowai will monitor and report on the environmental performance of wastewater and stormwater networks.

Our stormwater network

stormwater network

Waikato District Council is responsible for a variety of stormwater activities within the region. The stormwater activity applies to:

  • Urban stormwater schemes and
  • Watercare maintained open drains and associated assets within the Waikato district

Stormwater is not the same as wastewater: wastewater is carried through our wastewater system's pipes to a treatment plant where it is treated to a stage where it can be safely discharged into our waterways. Find out more about wastewater in our district.


Our networks: Urban v Rural

Our urban network
Our stormwater network is comprised of 180.5 km of pipes and three pump stations. It would cost approximately $105 million to replace the stormwater assets. 

Our network also includes catch pits, open drains and ponds which collect and dispose of stormwater.

We have installed EnviroPods into catch pits located in some recreational reserves as well as in the main streets of Raglan, Huntly and Ngaaruawaahia. These EnviroPod filters capture rubbish and pollutants within their mesh screens; this material would otherwise flow though the stormwater system into downstream rivers and waterways. The EnviroPod filters are programmed for regular maintenance which removes the contaminants.

Waikato District Council levies an urban drainage (stormwater) rate in Huntly, Ngaaruawaahia, Raglan, Te Kauwhata, Tuakau, Pookeno and the settlements of Horotiu, Matangi, Taupiri, Meremere and Port Waikato. Find out more in our fees and charges schedule.
Our rural network

The district includes open drains which service our two rural drainage schemes: Tamahere and Travers Road. Some drainage schemes are also administered by the Waikato Regional Council

If you are a landowner in these areas, you have rights and responsibilities under the Land Drainage Act 1908.


Connecting to our stormwater network

See information below on connecting to Council's stormwater network:

Seek advice:

Before connecting to the stormwater network, it’s a good idea to seek advice from a drainlayer, architect, engineer or other qualified person. They will know the requirements and standards you must comply with. You can find out more about building consents here.

Connections to the stormwater network can be done by a drainlayer, that holds a NZ Certificate in Infrastructure Works Level 4 in the wastewater and stormwater strand. Otherwise, a qualified drainlayer with an equivalent qualification for working on wastewater or storm water assets.

Building over or near Council infrastructure

If you are proposing to build within five meters of a stormwater pipeline or asset, you will need to complete and submit a build over application. Find out more here.


Owner responsibility

Outside defined drainage areas, land drainage is the responsibility of the occupier of the property.

We have a role in conflict resolution defined by the Local Government Act 2002 and the Land Drainage Act 1908. We provide advice on request to minimise problems and conflicts.

Give us a call on our freephone 0800 492 452 if you need advice or assistance.

Private vs. Council responsibilities
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Keeping our stormwater drains free from pollutants and waste

How you can help

1. Do not hose chemicals that are used for cleaning concrete or washing your house into the stormwater catch pits.
2. Do no tip any commercial waste product into stormwater catch pits including oil and food waste.
3. Do not tip oil, mud, paint, cleaning detergents and other chemicals into stormwater catch pits.
4. Place litter in rubbish bins, as this helps to prevent blockages from rubbish material that enters into the stormwater pipe network and eventually ends up in our rivers and ocean.

Find out more about how your actions can impact on water supply and wastewater.


Inflow and Infiltration

Inflow refers to both stormwater entering the wastewater network and wastewater entering the stormwater network. Inflow occurs mainly through illegal cross-connections between the two pipe networks.

Infiltration describes the entry of ground-water, including sea-water, into the networks, mainly through faults such as cracked and broken pipes. It is important to check that the stormwater is not being directed into the wastewater system or vice versa as this can lead to the wastewater system being overloaded or untreated wastewater entering the environment.


Stormwater Education

Preventing stormwater network blockages

When certain objects are disposed inappropriately and enter the stormwater network, this can cause blockages and can create stormwater overflows, flooding and damage to the network and ultimately pollute our environment. Below are some items that should not enter the stormwater system, you can help by disposing these items correctly to help protect our environment.

  • Oils and greases
  • Rubbish
  • Baby wipes/disposable nappies
  • Hygiene products
  • Cleaning products/chemicals/paints
  • Food scraps
  • Paper and plastics
  • Paint rinse water


'Metal fish' icons on drains

Have you noticed the metal 'fish icon' on our stormwater grates? The fish represents our native giant Kokopu which lives in the Waikato River and gully streams.

The fish icon on our stormwater drains:

Reminds us that what we put into the stormwater system will end up in our waterways (rivers, streams, lakes and the sea), which could harm aquatic life and animals that live there. This includes oil, mud, paint, cleaning detergents, cigarette butts, discarded plastic wraps, water bottles and other rubbish.

Think before you sink!


Stormwater catchment management plans

More information about the catchment management plans
Find out about our stormwater catchment management plans for Pokeno, Port Waikato, Tamahere, Te Kauwhata and Tuakau.



View maps (i.e. drain plans)

To view maps such as drain plans, please refer to the 'utility' module HERE.

Stormwater discharges are generated through water running off land and areas where the water can't drain through (for example roads, paved streets, car parks and building rooftops). This can have a bad effect on our environment and the people, animals and plant life that rely on it.



Regional Infrastructure Technical Specifications (RITS)

The RITS sets standards for design and construction of public infrastructure and is intended to provide clarity and consistency for contractors, developers, and consultants in the Waikato region. 

It includes standards for earthworks, transportation, water, wastewater, stormwater, landscapes, and accepted materials.

The RITS coverage area will include Hamilton, Hauraki DC, Matamata-Piako DC, Otorohanga, South Waikato DC, Waikato DC, Waipa DC, and Waitomo DC.

Learn more about the RITS here.

For more information, refer to the Co-Lab Solutions.

Waikato Regional Council Guidelines

Waikato Stormwater Management Guideline provides guidance for engineers, planners, landscape architects, developers, and contractors in selecting, designing, constructing and maintaining stormwater management systems for urban areas, with a focus on encouraging a low impact design approach.

View Stormwater Management Guideline here

The Waikato Stormwater Runoff Modelling Guideline provides a standalone hydrological design guideline for the region.

View Stormwater Runoff Modelling Guideline here