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Septic tank costs - the myth

There is a myth out there that if you have your own septic tank, with no wastewater attachment, that you are still paying for this in your rates. The answer is no. If you are not connected, you do not pay for this service.

Nelson City Council Principal Advisor Utilities, Phil Ruffell says there is only a wastewater charge where the property is connected to Council’s reticulation.

“If someone really is not connected to the network we should not be making a wastewater charge.” He encourages any such residents who think this is happening in their case to contact one of Council’s friendly Customer Services officers.

Phil advises that, as a matter of good public health the Local Government Act does allow Council to require properties to connect to the network, if the property boundary is within 30 metres of the network or the building is within 60 metres of the network.

“If the network is available and the distances away from our network are more than is legally required or if there are no health issues, we do not require them to connect”.

So while you do not pay rates for sewerage you will still be charged a general rate for the other services that Council provides such as

  • transport, parks and reserves
  • regulatory compliance, environmental management
  • economic/tourism support
  • community housing and regional facilities
  • recreation
  • managing emergencies, social development and assistance
  • central city improvements and culture, heritage and the arts