Skip to content

Rule 5 Pit latrines

Rule 5 Pit latrines

Updated 23 November 2012 12:09pm

The discharge into land of effluent from a pit latrine is a Permitted Activity provided

(a) the latrine is located more than 20 metres from any surface water body, farm drain, water supply race, the coastal marine area, or bore, more than ten metres from the property boundary, and more than five metres from any dwelling on the same site;

(b) surface water cannot drain into the latrine;

(c) the water table is at least 1,000 mm below the bottom of the latrine;

(d) the soil type does not comprise gravels, coarse/medium sands, scoria, fissured rock, or other such materials likely to permit free travel of excreta residues away from the vault chamber; and

(e) waste in the latrine does not accumulate to closer than 300 mm of the ground surface.

Explanation. This rule applies to discharges from pit latrines (also known as long-drops or privies). These toilet systems are commonly used in remote locations, or as temporary facilities where connection to a sewer is not possible. The design of any on-site sewage system is controlled by district councils under the Building Code (“G13.3.4 Where no sewer is available, an adequate on-site disposal system shall be provided for foul water ...”). Also, where a sewer connection is available, the drainage connection shall be made to the sewer (see G13.3.3 of the Building Code).

Permission may be required from the relevant district council in respect of the Building Regulations, 1992 or other legislation or bylaws administered by them. See, for example, the Porirua City Council General Bylaw 1991 Part 8: Management and operation of effluent disposal systems. “Water body” is defined in the Act, and reproduced in the Interpretation in section 3.