The On-Site Effluent Treatment Regional Plan 2006 (OSET Plan) directs the management of domestic wastewater to protect water quality in the Bay of Plenty. On-site effluent treatment systems include septic tanks and associated soakage fields and advanced aerobic systems.

NOTE: Draft Plan Change 14 (OSET) to the Regional Natural Resources Plan will eventually replace the On-Site Effluent Treatment Regional Plan.


In many parts of the Bay of Plenty, communities have been provided with sewers or reticulated wastewater systems. Where a sewer is available, then you must connect. This is subject to the provisions of the Local Government Act 1974 section 459. Your District Council or City Council should be able to advise you if your area has been or is scheduled for reticulation.

There are maps of some areas where reticulation has been provided in the OSET Plan.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council has proposed a reticulation scheme for the Te Puna West Maintenance Zone. Find out more.

On-site effluent treatment systems

Where no sewer is available you will need to provide an on site system which has been designed and constructed in accordance with the On-site Effluent Treatment Regional Plan. Read more.

For information on toilets in orchards, read more here.


OSET system design training

On-site Effluent Treatment System must be designed by a Suitably Qualified and Experienced Person (SQEP). To ensure the wastewater system is properly designed we have developed a Training Course for System Designers

Approved OSET system designers

Check here for a list of system designers.

Approved OSET effluent systems

Check here for approved on site effluent systems.

OSET maintenance zones

Some areas within the Bay of Plenty region, where there is evidence the environment is being adversely affected, have been deemed maintenance zones, and therefore have particular requirements. 


Contact Bay of Plenty Regional Council:

  • For copies of the documents or maps.
  • For information on septic tank maintenance, nutrient management and reduction options.
  • For information on the proposed plan change process and provisions.

Phone or email:

  • Terry Long (Senior Regulatory Project Officer) ph: 0800 884 881ext 8215.
  • Ruth Feist (Team Leader - Integrated Planning) ph 0800 884 881 ext 9351.

Contact your District or City Council for information on reticulated sewerage schemes:

  • Rotorua District Council (phone 07 348 4199).
  • Western Bay of Plenty District Council (phone 07 571 8008).
  • Whakatāne District Council (phone 07 306 0500).
  • Ōpōtiki District Council (phone 07 315 3030.