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Watercare implements compliance and connections changes

7 August, 2017

Watercare’s new processes relating to developments and connections to our network took effect on 1 July.

The use of compliance statements enables qualified contractors and consultants working on Auckland’s water and wastewater network to self-certify their work and ultimately benefit from cost and time savings.

Watercare has listened to feedback from the industry, including points raised at a consultants and contractors forum held in June, and the following changes have been made:

  • The policy document has been split into two versions: one for developers and subdivision works, and one for consultants and contractors working on Watercare infrastructure projects​.

  • The requirement to provide insurance details in the compliance statements has been removed. Watercare may request insurance information on a case-by-case basis where it’s deemed necessary.

  • The policy and forms now allow for one person to sign off on the work done by a number of people at his or her organisation, which removes the need for multiple compliance statements.

  • More clarification has been provided to explain in which circumstances work done by an internationally-accredited engineer would need to be peer-reviewed.

  • Regarding authorisation for accessing our wastewater network without entering it, for example to carry out a simple survey, we are establishing an annual approval which will eliminate the need to submit authorisation forms for each job. 

Watercare strategy and planning general manager Martin Smith says the July implementation is a “soft launch” and further feedback from the industry is welcomed.

“As we start to use these new processes, we are providing support and advice to try to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.

“We encourage you to get in touch with us if you have questions or suggestions as you familiarise yourself with the changes.”

The compliance statements​, which follow a framework similar to IPENZ producer statements, provide a consistent system for ensuring all work carried out on our network meets Watercare’s engineering standards.

Smith says Watercare has a responsibility to ensure all public water and wastewater assets are designed and built to deliver the optimal asset life. 

“As the provider of Auckland’s water and wastewater services, we have a duty of care to our customers to ensure all work carried out on our network meets our stringent standards and is carried out in a safe manner.

“The use of compliance statements will provide a consistent system for evidence-based quality control for all work carried out on our network.

“This review is about protecting our customers and enabling competent contractors and consultants to self-certify their work, which will largely remove the need for inspections from Watercare staff.

“Accepted compliance statements will also give Watercare a legal avenue to claim costs from the responsible party when negligence is discovered, so that ultimately it’s not our customers who will bear the burden of this cost.”


Changes to connections

Changes to the connections process have been made and will be fully implemented by 30 September. Any connections to the public water network commissioned from now on need to be carried out by one of Watercare’s network maintenance contractors throughout Auckland. These include Downer (north), City Care (south) and our internal maintenance staff (central). 

Simple household wastewater connections, and pipe connections to the public wastewater infrastructure, can be carried out by a drainlayer certified by the New Zealand Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board. This will need to be approved by Watercare.

Any work that involves connecting to a pressure sewer, a vacuum system or a rising main will need to be done by Watercare’s network maintenance contractors.

Anyone accessing our wastewater network​ for any reason, such as lowering a camera into a pipe or checking the depth of a manhole, will need to gain approval from Watercare before doing so. People who meet the requirements and need to access (without entering) manholes on a regular basis will be able to apply for annual approval. 

If you have any queries or feedback, please email info@water.co.nz.