New Zealand Land Treatment Collective Webinar Series 2022


Presenter: Elizabeth Johnson (Safe Septic programme lead in the Healthy Waters department at Auckland Council)

47,000 properties rely on onsite wastewater systems across Auckland. To reduce faecal contamination in waterways Auckland Council is undertaking the unprecedented task of monitoring maintenance of all systems within the region, approximately equivalent in scale to Dunedin’s entire population. Investigations so far have revealed significant inconsistencies between the level of service delivered during routine maintenance, documentation that is difficult to interpret, and a significant manual workload to process the content of documentation. This delays council’s ability to respond to pollution risks

To respond to this, the council has worked with with onsite wastewater system servicing companies to improve the consistency of service record forms. A form, hosted by the Survey123 app, has been developed over three years to capture essential information on the wide variety of onsite wastewater system types and accommodate varied user experiences for using digital tools, including offline use.

This webinar presents the process of form design, the industry response so far, integration with council systems, and potential for expansion to other councils or asset types.

By co-designing form content, investing in training service technicians, and using digital tools, Auckland Council receives consistent data that can be easily analysed and processed, speeding up response time to pollution incidents and increasing property owner awareness of how their onsite wastewater systems work. The data received from the form is automatically processed through Auckland Council’s SAP platform, populating asset records and flagging systems that require attention or are in critical failure. The process of designing the form and training service companies has resulted in a more open and collaborative relationship between the council and the service companies. This will be essential as council’s regionwide maintenance monitoring programme is rolled-out over the next four years.