Decision 2 - Taking ownership of wastewater laterals

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Consultation has concluded

A second decision related to our three waters network is the ownership of the wastewater laterals - most councils in New Zealand have taken over this responsibility form property owners.

What's the background to this decision?

Currently residents are responsible for the maintenance of the pipes connecting their property to the wastewater (sewerage) main underneath the road corridor. These are called wastewater laterals.

Often residents are not aware of their responsibilities and are unable or unwilling to pay for repairs when their lateral fails. Often the failure of laterals under the road corridor are also outside of the control of property owners, for example being the result of damage caused by street tree roots. Most Councils in New Zealand are responsible for the maintenance of laterals in public land.


The 3 waters network means our drinking water, waste water and stormwater infrastructure including:
  • 2653km of pipes
  • 193 pump statins
  • 3 treatment stations
  • 65 reservoirs

There are two options

Option 1:
No Change

Option 2:
Take Ownership (preferred option)
Retain status quo policy settings where households are responsible for renewal and maintenance of the wastewater laterals in the road corridor to the main.


Change the Council’s policy to be consistent in the region and New Zealand.
Capital cost and debt impact: No change
Capital cost and debt impact: $27m (over 10 years)
Rates change: None

Rates change: 0.17% 3 year average increase


These options have pros and cons, and are outlined in more detail here

Our preferred option

The Council prefers Option 2. In it we propose that the Council takes ownership of the laterals between the property boundary and the sewerage main underneath the road corridor.


Want to know more about another Decision? Head back to our Long-term Plan homepage or read our full consultation document

Or, are you ready to have your say? Head to our Long-term Plan online submission form

A second decision related to our three waters network is the ownership of the wastewater laterals - most councils in New Zealand have taken over this responsibility form property owners.

What's the background to this decision?

Currently residents are responsible for the maintenance of the pipes connecting their property to the wastewater (sewerage) main underneath the road corridor. These are called wastewater laterals.

Often residents are not aware of their responsibilities and are unable or unwilling to pay for repairs when their lateral fails. Often the failure of laterals under the road corridor are also outside of the control of property owners, for example being the result of damage caused by street tree roots. Most Councils in New Zealand are responsible for the maintenance of laterals in public land.


The 3 waters network means our drinking water, waste water and stormwater infrastructure including:
  • 2653km of pipes
  • 193 pump statins
  • 3 treatment stations
  • 65 reservoirs

There are two options

Option 1:
No Change

Option 2:
Take Ownership (preferred option)
Retain status quo policy settings where households are responsible for renewal and maintenance of the wastewater laterals in the road corridor to the main.


Change the Council’s policy to be consistent in the region and New Zealand.
Capital cost and debt impact: No change
Capital cost and debt impact: $27m (over 10 years)
Rates change: None

Rates change: 0.17% 3 year average increase


These options have pros and cons, and are outlined in more detail here

Our preferred option

The Council prefers Option 2. In it we propose that the Council takes ownership of the laterals between the property boundary and the sewerage main underneath the road corridor.


Want to know more about another Decision? Head back to our Long-term Plan homepage or read our full consultation document

Or, are you ready to have your say? Head to our Long-term Plan online submission form

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Do you have a questions wastewater laterals?

Check the FAQ's above on the right of this page as well as other questions below - your question may already have an answer.

Please be concise and respectful in asking questions - we will do our best to respond promptly - often by the next working day. Some answers may however take a bit longer to get the details right. We monitor the site from 8:30am - 5pm Monday to Friday

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    Is this going to cover laterals on any public land or just where roadways are involved?

    EmmaCP asked 7 months ago

    Hi Emma, 

    Apologies - This is for all wastewater laterals in the legal road only. 

    Nga mihi

    Amy

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    Will this cover stormwater or just wastewater (sewer)?

    abartlet asked 7 months ago

    Kia ora abartlet, 

    Thank you for the question. The response from our water team is below:

    It is just about wastewater. This is because of the difficulties and costs associated with repairs and the public and environmental health factors.

    All wastewater laterals are connected to the public system and are essential to maintaining good public and environmental health outcomes.  

    Stormwater often has pipes that go into the kerb and channel (not connected to any system) and are therefore of particularly low risk.

     Please let me know if you have any other questions. 

    Regards

    Amy

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    Will this create a situation where homeowners are unwilling to repair (their laterals - at the cost of many thousands - for the period before the full implementation, or will this start imminently?

    abartlet asked 8 months ago

    Kia ora abartlet

    Please find a response below from our Three Waters team. 

    We do not think the risk will change significantly between now and implementation, which is planned for 1st July 2021.  If this does occur, we will work with owners on a case by case basis.

    Regards

    Amy

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    What if the damage falls within the property boundary but is as a result of tree roots from outside the property boundary? Under option 2 would the council pay? Given it’s a council planted tree on their land

    D123 asked 8 months ago

    Hi D123

    There’s an existing policy around tree roots. We’ll look to update this to bring it in line with the new policy should the proposal be adopted

    The current laterals policy is here: https://wellington.govt.nz/-/media/your-council/plans-policies-and-bylaws/plans-and-policies/a-to-z/lateral/files/laterals.pdf

    Cheers, 

    Amy