Everything that goes into the stormwater system eventually ends up in our streams or in the harbour. Everyone in Wellington, Poriura, Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt, property owner or not, shares a responsibility for keeping our stormwater clean.
Cross connections directly affect our environment
A cross connection is the diversion of stormwater into the wastewater network, or wastewater into the stormwater network. A common source of cross connections is a downpipe diverted into the "gully trap", the drainage vent usually covered with a small grating and located against the outside of a house, near the kitchen, laundry or bathroom.
Stormwater in the wastewater network increases the volume at the wastewater treatment plant by up to five times the dry-weather levels. It can overload the plant, leading to a discharge to sea of only partially treated wastewater.
Wastewater connections to stormwater pipes have an equally harmful impact. Due to a faulty connection or leaks, wastewater can end up in the stormwater network. These cross connections are illegal.
It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure their drainage pipes connect to the right system. If you are getting drainage work done for an extension or new development, ensure your drainlayer is 100% confident your pipes are going where they should.
That way we’ll keep our streams, coast and harbours clean for generations to come.
For more information on cross-connections, check out this page.
Waterways in private properties
Generally it is the property owner's responsibility to keep any watercourses that go through their property free flowing.
Hutt City Council has produced a brochure that explains a little more about looking after waterways that flow through private properties - check out this brochure at the bottom of the page.
Tips for protecting drains at home
Gutters and down pipes - these must connect to stormwater drains. If connected to the wastewater system, sewage overflows can occur.
Building over drains - avoid building over your drains, it may interfere with future maintenance of the drains and cause damage to your building.
Garden beds - design garden beds to minimise water runoff and soil washing into the streets and drains.
Fertilisers and pesticides - minimise your use, these chemicals are easily washed off the garden by rainfall and into our waterways.
Gully trap - make sure your household gully trap is above ground level so rain doesn't flow into it as this can cause sewage overflows.
Footpaths and gutters - avoid putting litter or dog droppings in street gutters and drains, this can cause blockages, pollution problems and even local flooding.
Rubbish bins and recycling containers - make sure items are secure so they don't blow away or fall out and end up in the drains.
Planting trees - locate the position of your drains and identify suitable tree types before planting to avoid future drain blockages from tree roots.
Car cleaning - Wash the car on your lawn so water soaks into the ground or use a commercial car wash facility, which treats its wastewater or drains to the wastewater system.
Impervious surfaces - Discharge stormwater from impervious surfaces to gardens, lawns and rainwater planters.