Pressure sewer systems

A pressure sewer system is a small pumping unit which is installed on some properties to pump the household wastewater into our sewer network.

Each unit has a 24-hour emergency storage tank (about 1m by 2m) and is fitted with an alarm contained in a control panel.

The pump unit is installed on the property and is powered by the household power supply.

Most pressure sewer systems are vested to Council while some systems are privately owned.

Council is responsible for maintaining pressure sewer systems vested to Council, pump units, the pipe work from the pump unit to the property boundary and the control panel.

Property owners are responsible for maintaining the drainage pipe from the house to the pump unit and providing the power to run the pump unit.

Homeowners guide and key requirements

The Homeowners' Guide tells you how to keep the system running smoothly.

Remember, only water-based or food-based by-products or toilet paper should go down drains.

Pressure Sewer System Homeowner's Guide(PDF, 527KB)

Get an overview of the operation and maintenance of the system by reading these key requirements:

Pressure Sewer System Key Requirements(PDF, 158KB)

Plugged or blocked pumps

Check whether:

  • one of your appliances is emptying a large amount of water quickly into the pressure sewer system
  • it is or has just been raining. If it is / has, stormwater could be getting into your drainage system.

Both of these situations can cause problems, so please report them to us. In the meantime continue to use your pressure sewer system as normal.

Pressure sewer pumps get blocked when things go down the drain that shouldn’t. At recent call outs we have found sanitary items, clothes, baby wipes and toys blocking the pumps.

Pump faults and alarms

If the system is damaged or needs repair, the alarm goes off. If this happens, switch the alarm off by pressing the button underneath the alarm panel. If the alarm light is still active after 15 minutes, call us for assistance.

If your alarm goes on and off on a regular basis, please call us for advice. 

Phone:  09 430 4200

Our service contractor will contact you to provide advice. Please do not attempt to repair the system yourself.

Pumping unit power turned off

Remember that the power to the unit should always be turned on. 

If you turn the power off, and you have any leaking taps or appliances within your household, the pumping unit can fill up and overflow. If the unit is turned off, the alarm to warn you or your neighbours won’t work.

If you have had a power cut or you have turned the power off for a while, the alarm may sound for a while after power is restored until the wastewater level in the storage tank falls below the alarm level. The alarm should stop once the wastewater drops below the alarm level.

If it takes more than an hour, please call us. 

Phone:  09 430 4200

Special summer issues

House guests

Your unit may have to pump more often if you have a lot more people than usual staying in your home. It is meant to do this.

Away from home

If you go away and leave your property for long periods it is wise to flush clean water through the pump system when you return.

The simplest way to do this is to part fill the bathtub and then let the water drain away through the system or run your washing machine through a cycle. This will activate the pump in the tank and flush clean water through the system.

  • Tell your neighbours you are going away and what to do if the alarm goes off (they can contact us).
  • Leave the power to the pumping unit going. If the unit is turned off at the power board, the alarm will not sound to warn neighbours if a problem does occur.