How to Care for Your System and Field

Taking care of your septic system isn’t difficult, because modern systems function efficiently when you follow a few basic guidelines.

If you live in a rural area, you probably have an onsite septic or aerated waste water system, instead of a sewer connection.

Put these tips to use for a clean, odourless and trouble-free septic system.

At Waterflow NZ Ltd we never advertise or teach that any wastewater treatment system is a ‘set and forget’ – a culture of neglect is no culture at all!

Rather – Waterflow has developed a system that is very robust in terms of shock loading and capacity, has the ability to deal to a garbage grinder, and will deliver consistent results even under pressure.

Why Should I care for my septic system?

When septic systems are properly designed, constructed, and maintained, they effectively reduce or eliminate most human health or environmental threats posed by pollutants in household wastewater.


Did you know?

As a homeowner you’re responsible for maintaining your septic system; and that maintenance of your septic system, protects your investment in your home?
If correctly designed, constructed and maintained, your septic system will provide long-term, effective treatment of your household wastewater.
This guide will help you care for your septic system. It will help you understand how your system works and what steps you can take as a homeowner to ensure your system will work efficiently.


Nature does look after herself!

Although NaturalFlow is a natural living system, as with all living organisms a little care will ensure that it will run at peak performance for many years.
All Homeowners are provided strong Owner Education on the operation of their NaturalFlow System and greatly encouraged to maintain periodic checks of their system.

This mainly involves simple visual checks:

  • Worm numbers and tray loading
  • Disposal field operation
  • Any pump alarms (if applicable) are working
  • Dose siphon operation (if applicable)
  • Condition of plants in Plant Filter (if applicable)

Do’s & Dont’s


  • Check faucets and toilets for leaks; make repairs if necessary
  • Use low flush toilets where possible
  • Use a ‘displacer’ to reduce the amount of water needed to flush older toilets
  • Use aerators on faucets and flow reducer nozzles on showers to help lower water consumption.
  • Reduce water levels for small loads of laundry.
  • Wait until the dishwasher is full to run it.
  • Densely plant your field to maximise transpiration. Plant only recommended wetland plants over and near your septic system and check regularly for even wastewater distribution and even plant growth
  • Perform regular monthly visual checks of your system and field
  • Grass should be mowed or trimmed regularly to optimize growth and prevent the grass from becoming rank
  • Use planting, low chain, signage and/or fences to discourage access in public areas. If public access ways are near the disposal area, you will need to fence the disposal area off
  • Use signs, fences and plantings to prevent any vehicle or stock access
  • Keep records of all maintenance undertaken on the wastewater systems
  • Monitor and care for your Wastewater System as per instructions in the home owner’s manual


  • Use chlorine based disinfectant & cleaning products (Cleaners high in chlorine, phosphorous or ammonia must not be used) in the toilets or kitchen sink.
  • Overuse of heavy cleaners kills beneficial bacteria in the septic system
  • Pour any toxic/strong chemicals (paint, oil, grease, paint thinners or pesticides) down any drains
  • Flush down your toilet – Dental floss, feminine hygiene products, diapers, cotton swabs, cigarette butts, coffee grounds, cat litter, and other kitchen and bathroom items
  • Discard any drugs down the sink or toilet
  • Empty rubbish bags into Wormorator
  • Add dog faeces to the wormorator, they contain unwanted bacteria.
  • Dispose of vinegar or brine down the kitchen sink or toilet, the acid is harmful to the worms.
  • Alter or add any part of your system without Waterflow NZ LTD’s approval

Further helpful hints:

Your NaturalFlow system is a living organism and some cleaning products have the ability to kill these organisms. When purchasing products such as cleaners and detergents etc, be sure to check the label to see if the product is either biodegradable or safe to use in sewage systems. Adding bread to the Wormorator helps worms to multiply.
Note: You are welcome to install a Garbage Grinder in your kitchen sink.  The worms love it!!


Care for your Disposal Field

Your disposal field is an important part of your septic system. Here are a few things you should do to maintain it:

  • Plant only recommended wetland plants over and near your septic system. Roots from nearby trees or shrubs might clog and damage the drainfield.
  • Don’t drive or park vehicles on any part of your septic system. Doing so can compact the soil in your drainfield or damage the pipes, tank, or other septic system components.
  • Do not build any structures over it or seal it with concrete, asphalt etc
  • Keep roof drains, basement sump pump drains, and other rainwater or surface water drainage systems away from the drainfield. Flooding the drainfield with excessive water slows down or stops treatment processes and can cause plumbing fixtures to back up.
  • Trees with very aggressive roots, such as willows, should be kept well away from the disposal system, check our list of recommended plantings
  • A soggy drainfield won’t absorb and neutralize liquid waste. Plan landscaping, roof gutters and foundation drains so that excess water is diverted away from the septic drainfield.

Talk To Us Today

Waterflow NZ Ltd has professional Installers and Designers that cover every region of New Zealand, so where ever you are situated from the Cape to the Bluff, just call our friendly team now to find out the closest one to you.


What Others Think

“Gee I love you guys :)”

I was called this morning from Rangi to say the 6-monthly inspection is being done at 2pm today.

Your guy doing it has been held up, so he actually called to let me know.
This is never happens normally with tradie type people.

If your company ever needs someone to sell your systems up this end of the woods then give me an interview.
After my experience with all your people, I would be proud to sell it!

Kim Robson


What Others Think


“NaturalFlow system is such a basic and easy system to look after and operate. We are very pleased with it and are glad we went with the system. The grey water has certainly been great on the gardens and the black water bed once planted looks after itself. Great!”

Dennis & Marie


What Others Think

“Looks after itself”

“Back in 2008 along with our building projects we decided to go for the NaturalFlow sewage system as it didn’t require any power, on our site. We have been very impressed with the performance of this system, with very little maintenance, it basically looks after itself.
Without hesitation I would recommend the NaturalFlow system to anyone as I have had no difficulties with product or the friendly team at Waterflow NZ Ltd. 



What Others Think

“Low site impact”

Just a quick email to say a huge thank to you , ken & the team.
Stoked with the work done , the boys on the diggers did a awesome job .
Every thing was left nice & tidy , super happy !!
Xmas bonus for all !!

John Cullen