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Rotorua Lakes Catchment

Since 2005 many advanced (aerobic) wastewater treatment systems (also known as On-site effluent treatment or OSET) have gone through the trial facility established by Bay of Plenty Regional Council (in conjunction with Environment Waikato and Rotorua District Council) and now operated by Rotorua District Council, to determine which system could meet the approved standard.

The table below highlights the systems approved for installation in the Rotorua lakes' catchments. All systems shown may be installed elsewhere in the Bay of Plenty, however conventional septic tanks are still permitted in most areas outside Rotorua lake catchments.   Unless there is a council sewerage scheme planned for your area, any new septic systems installed into the Rotorua catchment must be of an approved model or a resource consent needs to be obtained.

Trial 1 (2005-2006)* See Trial 1 Note below Approved for installation in Rotorua Catchments Irrigation Pump included in test? Measured power use (kWh) per day? Equivalent annual power cost
Devan Blue DB900NRS (564KB, pdf) - Yes 6.3 $517
Hynds Lifestyle (564KB, pdf) - Yes 1.7 $140
Innoflow AdvanTex Ax20 (564KB, pdf) - No 0.6 $49
Oasis Membrane MBR (564KB, pdf) - Yes 7.3 $600
Smith and Loveless (Microfast 0.5) (564KB, pdf) - No 7.2 $591
Biolytix BF6 2500 PAT (564KB, pdf) - Yes?1 0.2 $16
Supertreat SB440 (N12) - Yes 10.8 $887
Waipapa Tanks Nitro-Treat P-N-12-2 (refer to Note A) - - - -

 

Trial 2 (2006-2007) Approved for installation in Rotorua Catchments Irrigation Pump included in test? Measured power use (kWh) per day? Equivalent annual power cost
Bio-Microbics MicroFAST 0.9 (1.9MB, pdf) - Yes 8.9 $731
Devan Blue 9000NRS (1.3MB, pdf) - Yes 2.7 $222
Hynds Lifestyle Ultimate (1.6MB, pdf) - Yes1 2.2 $181
Reflection Textile EW (3MB, pdf) - Yes1 2.5 $205
RX Plastics Airtech 9000 NR (1.7MB, pdf) - Yes 5.3 $435
RX Plastics Airtech 9000 (1.7MB, pdf) - Yes 4.9 $402
Waipapa Tanks Econo Treat P-10-2 (3.1MB, pdf) - Yes 1.3 $107
Trial 3 (2007 - 2008) Approved for installation in Rotorua Catchments Irrigation Pump included in test? Measured power use (kWh) per day? Equivalent annual power cost
Biocycle 6300 (476KB, pdf) - Yes 2.5 $205
Innoflow AdvanTex AX20 (405KB, pdf) Yes Yes 1.1 $90
Oasis Clearwater S2000 (541KB, pdf) Yes Yes 2.0 $162
Waipapa Tanks Maxi-Treat MV-C3000 (610KB, pdf) Yes Yes 8.4

$690

Trial 4 (2007-2008) See Trial 4 note below Approved for installation in Rotorua Catchments Irrigation Pump included in test? Measured power use (kWh) per day? Equivalent annual power cost
WaterGurus NovaClear - Yes 4.6 $378
Humes FR1 Yes Yes 5.2 $427
Hynds Lifestyle Yes Yes 1.8 $148
Waipapa Tanks Econo-Treat VBB C-2200-2 Yes Yes 1.8 $148

The On-Site Effluent Treatment (OSET) National Testing Programme (NTP) has now been taken over by Water NZ. View information about the trial and further results here.

Trial 1 Note

In early 2009 Environment Bay of Plenty decided to no longer recognise the results of trial 1 for the purposes of approving waste water treatment systems for installation in our region.  Trial 1 had a number of limitations in terms of flow variability which may have influenced systems' performance.  The current trial facility has undergone a complete rebuild since the early days and now has very robust systems in place to ensure a high degree of flow uniformity and consistency.

Note 'A'


This system is almost identical to the trialled SuperTreat SB440(N12) however is marketed by Waipapa Tanks and includes a modified venturi (pat pend) for improved energy efficiency.

Notes on Power Use

  1. The irrigation pump trialled in the Reflection treatment system is too small for most irrigation applications. The electricity use in a Biolytix treatment system in a typical household setup totals about 0.6 kWh per day. Electricity use by irrigation pumps associated with household wastewater treatment systems is around 0.5 kWh per 1000 litres (i.e. approximate average household daily flow). This will vary depending on pump efficiency, difference in elevation, distance to irrigated area, pipe size etc.
  2. The electricity usage figures presented need to be treated with caution. Various factors could influence them including blockages and pump efficiency. Note that only some systems included irrigation pumps in the trial.
  3. The annual power cost was calculated using a nominal cost per kWh of 20 cents plus GST. The exact cost will vary depending on the region, pricing plan and discounts available.


Trial 4 Note

Trial 4 testing was the first full trial under OSET NTP supervision. SWANS-MAG Trial 4 and subsequent audit reports are available on request through the individual companies.  Company contact details are available from the Water NZ website here.  

These comparative results reports are not publically available as they are restricted to Funding Partners only. However, the performance certificates are available to the public at the Water NZ website.


Other factors to consider

Visit our page about choosing a system.

Read the Rotorua Lakes Factsheet on the Onsite Treatment Regional Plan

If you want to install an advanced system, rule 13 of the On-site Effluent Treatment Regional Plan applies.

For the new requirements for existing conventional septic tank systems in Rotorua Lakes' Catchments and other areas refer here.

Existing conventional septic tank systems in Rotorua Lakes' Catchments

Refer to rule 2 of the On-Site Effluent Treatment Regional Plan for more information.