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

Southland District Council is developing a business case for the consented Kepler treated wastewater scheme. However Council also agreed to give landowners opportunity to offer potential alterntive sites, subject to meeting these criteria.Potential properties may then be subject to a detailed assessment of both site conditions and planning issues.

If you believe you have land that meets these criteria and want to talk to Council about this, please send details of the land and your name and contact phone number to teanauwastewater@southlanddc.govt.nz and a staff member will contact you. Your information will be treated confidentially.
This option will be open until 11 October.

Criteria for land for treated wastewater disposal

To be considered, any potential site will need to meet the following criteria.


For slow rate irrigation

For rapid infiltration irrigation

Land availability
  • Between 100 - 250 hectares
  • Must be willing to sell land to Council
  • Must be willing to allow council staff and experts access to undertake further significant detailed assessment prior to  sale – to determine suitability.
Land availability  
  • Between 5 -10 hectares
  • Must be willing to sell land to Council
  • Must be willing to allow council staff and experts     access to undertake further significant detailed     assessment prior to sale to determine suitability
Site assessment and topography    
  • As flat as possible with no slopes of greater than 5 degrees
  • No risk of significant flooding or ponding
  • No watercourses within identified land
Site assessment and topography
  • As flat as possible
  • No watercourses within identified land
  • No risk of significant flooding or ponding
Soil conditions  
  • Free draining gravels with no/limited pan
  • Monowai type soils or equivalent
Soil conditions
  • Free draining gravels with no/limited pan
  • Monowai type soils or equivalent
Separation from groundwater  
  • The preference is for the separation to be as much as possible. A minimum depth to groundwater of 3 metres.
Separation from groundwater
  • The preference is for the depth of groundwater separation to be 4 metres
Separation from surface water  
  • Minimum separation from surface water of 20m
  • No overland flow capable of reaching surface water body
Separation from surface wate
  • Minimum separation from surface water of 20m
  • Within 18km of Te Anau
  • Remote – ideally no residential properties within 1km of     site boundary
  • Minimum distance from water taken for domestic     consumption of 500m
  • Within 3-5km of Te Anau
  • Limited/no immediate neighbours
  • Minimum distance from water taken for domestic     consumption of 500m


Download the Criteria for land for treated wastewater disposal  [PDF, 412 KB]document.

You can download the business case report and relevant attachments by clicking on the document links below. 

  1. Report Business Case - Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Method - Kepler Block [PDF, 593 KB]
  2. Te Anau Wastewater Business Case - September 2018 [PDF, 3.7 MB]
  3. SDI Basis of Design - Te Anau Wastewater Scheme [PDF, 8.3 MB]
  4. Aqualinc Memo - Te Anau WWT Irrigation – Storage Requirements and Frequency [PDF, 1.1 MB]
  5. Avisure - Irrigation Te Anau Bird Strike Assessment [PDF, 5.3 MB]
  6. Legal Advice - Kepler and Upukerora Consents for Te Anau Wastewater Treatment Plant [PDF, 293 KB]

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

go easy on your water info graphic

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. Allow it to defrost overnight in the refrigerator or use your microwave to defrost food straight from the freezer.
  • Check all taps are turned off properly
  • Keep a water jug or bottle in your fridge instead of running the tap cold to get a cool drink of water
  • Use a pressure cooker, microwave or steamer to save water. Simmer rather than boil your food and use tight lids to prevent evaporation
  • Water used to cook boiled food can be re-used in soups or casseroles – or let it cool down and use it to water your garden
  • Your plants will appreciate food scraps added to the compost heap! A lot of water is wasted running a waste disposal unit.

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
  • Don’t use the toilet to flush items such as tissues or anything else that could go in the rubbish bin
  • Check your toilet for leaks.

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
  • Don’t water on windy days: much of the water will evaporate and/or go where you don’t need it
  • 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
  • Use recycled water (also known as grey water) that you have collected in your home to water your garden
  • Use a trigger hose to water the garden, not a sprinkler, to control where and how much water is used. Also, aim for the roots, not the leaves
  • Plant drought-resistant species in your garden. Native plants require less water than exotic plants.

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
  • Wash your car on the lawn so your lawn gets watered too
  • Don’t cut the lawns too short. Lawns with more grass blades will hold water and require less irrigation.

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