Wastewater is any water that has been used and is commonly referred to as sewage.

Council owns and runs 18 sewerage schemes throughout Southland at Balfour, Browns, Edendale-Wyndham, Gorge Road, Lumsden, Manapouri, Monowai, Nightcaps, Ohai, Otautau, Riversdale, Riverton, Stewart Island, Te Anau, Tokanui, Tuatapere, Wallacetown and Winton.

Preventing Blockages

To prevent our sewers from getting blocked we need to make sure we only flush what we’re supposed to. Your toilet is not a rubbish bin.

It costs tens of thousands of dollars every year to repair damage caused by people flushing items they shouldn’t, such as disposable cleaning cloths.

There are 76 wastewater pump stations around the district and in the year to mid-August there have been 57 blockages. The problem is getting worse, and costs a lot to fix – repairs can range from $500 to $10,000.

While some products might say they can be flushed, they actually block up pipes and cause a lot of damage. The only things that should ever go down a toilet are human waste (urine and faeces) and toilet paper.

What not to flush?

  • Disposable cleaning cloths
  • Nappies/disposable underwear
  • Tampons & sanitary products
  • Cotton balls & cotton buds
  • Medications (return unused medicine to a pharmacy)
  • Condoms
  • Facial tissues
  • Bandages
  • Grease
  • Cleaning products
  • Dental floss

Te Anau Proposal

A consent for Council’s proposed Te Anau Wastewater Disposal Scheme has been granted, but it has been appealed to the Environment Court.

The proposed scheme involves upgrading of the existing treatment process and subsequent disposal of the treated wastewater to land to the north of Te Anau Airport Manapouri.

Council has been granted air and land discharge consents through Environment Southland and Commissioners recommended the designation in Council’s District Plan be confirmed, with some additional conditions. Council has confirmed the designation.

The appeals mean Council will now go through a court appointed mediation process to determine if appellants’ concerns can be met without the need for a full Environment Court hearing.

The Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Project Committee has been formed to manage delivery of the proposed wastewater scheme and members have agreed on terms of reference for the peer review of work. The review will be carried out by Pattle Delamore Partners.

Work on the pipeline and the Kepler site will not begin until the outcome of the appeal process is known.

Water Quality

To find out more about water quality and whether it is safe to swim in the region's rivers visit Environment Southland (external link)


Stormwater is the water that runs off surfaces such as roads, footpaths and rooftops and travels down gutters into sumps and then into a stormwater network.

Council manages 28 stormwater networks at Balfour, Browns, Colac Bay, Dipton, Edendale, Limehills-Centre Bush, Lumsden, Manapouri, Monowai, Mossburn, Nightcaps, Ohai, Orepuki, Otautau, Riversdale, Riverton, Stewart Island, Te Anau, Thornbury, Tokanui, Tuatapere, Waikaia, Waikawa, Wairio, Wallacetown, Winton, Woodlands and Wyndham.

Urban Water Supplies

Council owns and manages 11 urban water supply schemes at Edendale-Wyndham, Lumsden, Manapouri, Mossburn, Ohai-Nightcaps-Wairio, Orawia, Otautau, Riverton, Te Anau, Tuatapere and Winton.

Rural Water Supplies

Most of Council’s rural water supply schemes are not safe for human consumption.

Council owns and manages 11 rural water supply schemes at Duncraigen, Five Rivers, Homestead, Eastern Bush-Otahu Flat, Kakapo, Lumsden-Balfour, Matuku, Mount York, Princhester, Ramparts and Takitimu.

Two of Council’s rural water supply schemes – Eastern Bush-Otahu Flat and Lumsden-Balfour – are treated and can be used as drinking water for people. The rest of the rural schemes are used for stock water supply only.

You can purchase units from Council, which gives you a daily allocation of water you can take from the scheme. This is controlled by a restrictor device at your tank.

Please report faults and problems to Council. You need to have two days storage of water on your property in case the scheme needs to be shut down for repairs.

If your water supply runs out, check if there is any water running into your tank and if the tank is empty before contacting Council.

Conservation Tips

Indoor Conservation Tips

In the kitchen

  • Make sure your dishwasher is full before turning it on
  • Fix leaking taps
  • Put plug in sink when running water to wash fruits and veggies or for rinsing dishes
  • Avoid using running water to defrost frozen food

In the bathroom

  • Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth or shaving
  • Install a low-flow showerhead
  • Use dual-flush on the toilet or place a filled water bottle in the toilet cistern
  • Have showers instead of baths and keep your shower short

In the laundry

  • Make sure you do a full load or use the water filling guide depending on the amount of washing
  • Front-load washing machines use 50 percent less water than top loaders

Outdoor Conservation Tips

In the garden

  • Collect water in drums or tanks from roof run off
  • Minimise evaporation by watering during the early morning
  • Check the forecast - if there's rain ahead, let it water for you
  • Check your garden hose and taps regularly for leaks and use a trigger nozzle on the hose to reduce water loss
  • Wash your car on the lawn so your lawn gets watered too

The lawns

  • Do not worry about the lawn drying out over the summer as it will rejuvenate naturally with cooler and wetter weather
  • Do not water your lawn on windy days

The outdoors

  • Don't hose the dirt off your driveway, use a broom instead
  • Use a bucket to wash the house or windows
  • Make sure you check for leaks consistently and repair if necessary