Sewerage is the system of pipes and treatment works to collect and safely dispose of sewage effluent. A badly-maintained sewerage system could expose the community to disease-causing pathogens (bugs); and in disaster situations, such as floods, the risk of water-borne diseases travelling through a community can increase.

Relevant legislation

The most important pieces of legislation covering standards around sewage are the Building Act 2004 (managed by local authorities), the Resource Management Act (RMA) 1991 (managed by regional councils), and the Health Act 1956. Public health services ensure that the Health Act is complied with and houses meet sanitary requirements. The treatment of sewage to the environment is controlled under the RMA.