South Island team for Dutton Stormwater

It is with great pride that I announce that on the 2nd of November we will unleash a crew on the South Island, enabling us to provide better service than ever for our South Island clients.

Many of our national customers have been wondering when this was going to happen. In October last year I committed to sending a crew to the South Island in 2020. We are going.

The redoubtable Yannick will be the Commander in Chief of our team for the South, and we will have crew coming and going each week to work with him.

This side of our business can only grow in the future and I am excited to see where this will lead us as a business. I want to personally thank Conrad and Andrea for the mountain of work they have done preparing the way for us. It is now over to Michelle and her team to make it happen!

Very exciting times.

New additions to Dutton Stormwater team & fleet

Servicing petrol station forecourt interceptors is specialized work. The staff must be trained and have the relevant certifications and the equipment must be certified. Due to our customer base requesting us to carry out this work we are proud to announce the arrival of our new A3 vacuum truck.

We call him JAMES.

We work closely with SPEL (Pump and Valve) in understanding and servicing their devices nation-wide. This addition to our fleet has increased our capacity to carry out more work for the major fuel companies as we expand our capabilities. The addition of James has meant we need someone to drive this truck or one of the other trucks.

We are lucky enough to have a man named Ali Mehr who has stepped up from Stormwater Technician to vacuum truck operator. Ali has his DG and Class 2 License and will work his way up to being able to drive our A3 truck in the next six months.

The growing team

We as a company are extremely proud of how we have dealt with this Global Crisis. Our staff are have come through this unscathed. Unlike many other businesses we have employed five new staff members:

Cat has experience in our industry. This is a bonus as we have employed Cat because she is so capable, kind and straight up with people. Welcome.

TJ was a casualty of the Warehouse closure in Birkenhead a few months ago. I got talking to him and a few of his mates outside the warehouse. He came in for an interview and tried out for a few days. His enthusiasm and character shone through. Not to mention, TJ is an extremely strong young man who loves servicing sand filters.

Seb has been with us for a few months now as is a smart, fit, well spoken individual who will go far in our business. He works extremely hard and I have watched him gain the respect of our crew through his actions.

Sue has joined us out of the blue – like most of our new staff – and she is here to relieve the burden on Claire in the accounts department. Sue has helped immensely and has such a helpful, calm energy about her.

Andrea completes the Sales Dream Team with Conrad. Andrea is a switched on, organized and detail oriented individual. These two are unstoppable and I am grateful to have Andrea working for me.


Dutton Stormwater awarded Auckland Council’s Healthy Waters Treatment Device maintenance contract

It is with great pride that I write this announcement.

We have been awarded the contract from Healthy Waters to maintain the treatment devices for the Auckland Region for the next five years.

This is a culmination of years of working for contractors for Council and immersing ourselves in the stormwater treatment device space. We have stayed true to this course. We do not have departments for Procurement, so to the team that worked on producing this tender – I am so proud of you and I thank you for the many hours of work you did to put together the winning document.

To the team who will now deliver this contract, I believe in you and I appreciate everything you do for me and our business.

In this same month we have become a partner to Sustainable Coastlines. We have been patient and discerning in our quest to partner with a worthy organisation. We are proud of this step which will grow into a powerful and helpful partnership for all.

Dutton Stormwater is a proud sponsor of Sustainable Coastlines

July has seen Dutton Stormwater attain another proud milestone. We have finalised our sponsorship of Sustainable Coastlines, a registered New Zealand charity doing incredible work which all Kiwis benefit from.

The protection of our natural environment is at the heart of Dutton’s company values, and we want to do all we can to achieve this. Sustainable Coastlines is on a mission to take better care of our coastlines and waterways. The Visions of both parties have an align – Both love the coasts and oceans, and want them litter free.

Sustainable Coastlines deliver coastal clean-up events, educational programmes, public awareness campaigns, and native planting projects. They work with businesses, volunteers, ambassadors and local community groups, to enable them to deliver these activities in their own communities.

We are particularly interested in the “Love Your Coast” programmes, which target marine litter through beach clean-ups and education. Hundreds of passionate people pick up tonnes of litter which has reached the coast. However, there is a ribbon of catchment just beyond the beach awaiting the next rain. Gathered in the silt and sediments from our roads are fine pollutants, which settle in the stormwater catch pit drains in the street gutters. They contain lead, zinc, copper and other heavy pollutants. These are the invisible “nasties” which often cause our beach closures and harm our marine life.

Part of the Dutton Stormwater support of Sustainable Coastlines vision is to provide the technical expertise and equipment to assist with cleaning up these drains closest to the target beaches. We will be supplying trucks and crew to specific events to provide some heavy lifting and support beyond the beach. This is to ensure the hard work of all the people doing the clean-ups is not undone in the next downfall, and that we are all working to our strengths to meet our shared vision of protecting our waterways, beaches and oceans.

If you have an interest in supporting Sustainable Coastlines in their mission, please contact, or at 0274 912058.

Most importantly, let’s all do the small things in our daily life to ensure our stormwater runoff is as clean and litter free as possible.

Eventually, it all drains to the ocean.

Soak holes – The worker bees of a stormwater management plan

The Auckland Region has large pockets of free-draining volcanic and basalt rock under the ground called puros. Stormwater Management Plans often take this into account, and specify a soak hole as the final point of drainage for a site.

Soak holes are usually a standard manhole with deep bores (minimum 1m) which vary in diameter. These bores are drilled into the earth and are encased with a PVC pipe. There is a siphon sitting on the PVC Pipe which is below the invert of the inlet pipe.

Drawings are taken from Auckland Council Website. 

How does a Soak Hole work to control runoff?

Stormwater enters the soak hole and water is siphoned down the bore with any solids being caught on the grill of the siphon.

What could cause a soak hole to block up?

Plastic bags and litter can get stuck over the grill of the siphon.

The siphon can get knocked off and a bottle or other solid item get stuck down the bore not allowing water to drain away.

Silt can build up on the bottom of the sump and eventually fill up the bore which not allowing any drainage.

To avoid blockages and hence flooding, it is imperative soak holes are maintained.

What does Dutton Stormawater’s Soak Hole maintenance involve?

  • Prior to the service we contact you to schedule a specific date for the service to take place.
  • During the service we:
    • vacuum the silt off the floor of the soak hole
    • remove any litter and debris
    • waterblast and flush the bores
    • clean and replace any siphons that have fallen off the bores.
  • After the service you will be sent a report for your records.

Soak Hole Maintenance is recommended annually.

Call us for a free, no-obligation quote.

From the Director’s desk – June 2020

I often use metaphors to explain how I see a situation. I mentioned to the team on 24 March that I felt we were like an army platoon enclosed by a great wall, walking in darkness toward a tiny distant light. I knew our platoon would emerge from this crisis shining and strong – and we have. We have broken through the wall with our heads held high, not consumed by what other companies are doing, rather focused on our own game.

As we emerge from Lockdown, I applaud our country and government for helping us, and am proud to say:

  1. From 1 July 2020 we are the official contractor to Auckland Council Healthy Waters for Treatment Devices, Auckland-wide.
  2. We have promoted two innovative and talented individuals: Claire Story to Office Manager and Sonny Chan to Quality, Environmental, Health & Safety Manager.
  3. An A3 7000l vacuum truck is on order, to be delivered in October.
  4. Despite the knocks and challenges of Covid19, all Dutton Stormwater staff have retained their positions.

I feel proud of how Dutton Stormwater has operated throughout this crisis and am proud of each of you for being brave and kind.

When in drought – plan for rain!

With a hot Auckland this summer, the city has broken its water consumption record twice since the start of February. Aucklanders are being urged to cut their shower times and areas in Northland have outdoor water bans in place. On Saturday, it was 40 consecutive days since the region had rainfall, which means the Auckland region broke a record for the longest dry spell, according to NIWA forecasters.

So, what has this got to do with storm water maintenance?

During dry spells, stormwater systems can be far from top of mind, and yet stormwater filters are faithfully collecting litter, and lead particles are creating a layer on city roads from exhausts and lead, copper and zinc particles are gathering in our atmosphere and layering roofs and roads through dry deposition.

Many activities in urban areas emit metal contaminated particles into the atmosphere. The first rainfall will wash lead and other pollutants from roads and carparks into the city’s stormwater system. Rain will wash** suspended pollutants from the atmosphere to join those already flowing toward the sea.

The first big rainfall of autumn is critical to manage well

A large rainfall after a dry summer means that pollutant levels in storm water systems will be higher than normal – and the ‘first flush’ of the water moving through the storm water filters will have the most! It is thought that 40 – 50% of contaminants can be mobilized in the first 20% of the increased flow after a storm or heavy rainfall in an urban area.***

This is why it is crucial that storm water filters are well maintained during summer and ready to work hard… rather than being jammed with litter and in need of maintenance.

The removal of contaminants before they can enter a watercourse is an ideal intervention, protecting both freshwater environments and the marine eco-system. For example, Auckland Transport removes over 6,400 tonnes of sediment from its roads per year!****

Auckland’s industry and population have a high impact on freshwater quality

Tom Porter from the Auckland Council explains that although the Auckland region covers less than 2% of New Zealand, it contains over a third of the population, and is growing fast. This places severe pressures on freshwater quality in the Auckland area, especially regarding to sediment, metals and other contaminants. (MFE, 2017b).

Auckland is also adjacent to the ocean on both sides!

We believe this means that we have an additional duty to manage our stormwater systems exceptionally well! 

We’d love to help you ensure that your stormwater filters are ready and primed for our city’s first big rainfall, and the winter that will follow!

Contact us for a free quote today – 09 974 9888


* Dry deposition is the process where atmospheric particles, and any contaminants associated with them, settle via gravity or are deposited by wind onto the surfaces of roofs, buildings or the ground.

** Wet deposition is how atmospheric particles and soluble trace gases are removed from the atmosphere by dissolution and incorporated into water droplets, either in clouds or falling raindrops.

*** Park et al. 2010.

**** Auckland Transport unpublished briefing, 2018.

Up-Flo Filters – What makes them so marvelous?

In 2006 stormwater treatment in New Zealand was turned on its head. The Up-Flo Filter was introduced to our shores to help us better protect our precious waterways.

The Up-Flo Filter is an attractive option for stormwater treatment

Up Flo Filters have a smaller footprint than many other stormwater treatment devices, and maintenance is easy and fast when performed by experts. Up Flo Filters are one of the few devices approved by Auckland Council to treat stormwater.

Up Flo Filter water treatment is highly effective at removing:

      • Total Suspended Solids
      • Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons
      • Zinc, Copper, Lead
      • Litter

The way an Up Flo Filter works is an example of simple genius!

However as you can see by the diagram of this Up Flo Filter, efficient performance is dependent on well maintained filter bags and mathalas. That’s where we come in!

If you have an Up-Flo Filter at your site,call us to come and check if it has been correctly commissioned! Commissioning means it will have filter bags and mathalas, in good condition.

From that point on we will take care of the whole process to ensure your Up-Flo Filter performs well, to help keep our ocean cleaner! We will also be able to demonstrate that you are compliant with relevant resource consent conditions. We will:

  1. Give you a free maintenance proposal for the maintenance of your entire site.
  2. Book a time to come in and service your Up-Flo and other stormwater devices.
  3. Give you a full report for you to keep on file for Council, should they wish to see it.

What you can expect when we service an Up-Flo Filter:

  • We will complete all necessary health and safety paperwork
  • We will remove all sediment, litter and rotting vegetation by vacuum truck
  • We will remove spent media packs and wash the modules down
  • We will vacuum the chamber again
  • We will replace the media packs
  • We will dispose of polluted waste at an approved disposal facility
  • We will send you a full report.

For an example of our work, the photos below show Up-Flo Filters before and after they were serviced.

Please call us to find out if your up-flo is commissioned, or is due for a service.