It’s official – The Stormwater Responsible Badge is here

To acknowledge and publicly recognise the commitment of our customers to Responsible Stormwater Management, and to raise awareness of the importance of stormwater system maintenance, we have created the Stormwater Responsible badge.

This badge will be awarded to customers who demonstrate responsible stormwater practices by regularly maintaining their stormwater systems. Companies can then use this to show their own customers and the community they are doing their part to minimise contamination of our waterways.

To qualify, customers of Dutton Stormwater must have performed regular stormwater maintenance on their existing devices for at least two years, and/or have committed to two year’s scheduled maintenance on all stormwater devices going forward.

To discuss further, or if you already qualify and would like to be awarded the badge, please email

St Mary’s Primary School presentation

As part of our initiative to educate our community and increase awareness of how important stormwater maintenance is to preserving clean waterways, the Dutton Stormwater team visited St Marys Primary School.

Around 50 children got to hear our Director Ed Dutton explain what our role is in helping protect the waterways and environment around New Zealand, then our crew demonstrated a Cess Pit service with the Vacuum Truck.

It’s always refreshing speaking with children and watching curious minds at work. It was great to see how quickly the students grasped why it is important not to drop rocks or rubbish in a Cess Pit. We found the trip very worthwhile, with our time well invested in these future custodians of Auckland.

Ed is looking forward to visiting more customer schools this winter and meeting more young people with a desire to look after our planet.

Stormwater 2021 Conference

Dutton Stormwater were proud to be the Conference Partner Sponsor at this great event in Tauranga, lead by Water New Zealand. Our team enjoyed meeting professionals across the Stormwater industry including some great new contacts and our fantastic customers.

As one of only two Stormwater Maintenance companies amongst many manufacturers, innovators, consultants and Council teams, we focused on creating greater awareness around the importance of maintaining Stormwater Devices regularly so they can perform as the manufacturers intended, and effectively protect our environment.

Our booth showcased our model Vacuum Truck which was a popular talking point. We were impressed with the efforts of our in-house Engineer and Designer, Richard Strang, who designed and built the 1:7 scale working model from scratch in just three weeks. The truck was displayed on a custom-made stand which together with our booth was developed by our friends at Big Ideas. It showcased pumping of the water from cesspits and stormwater drains to the truck. This was an outstanding event, and we look forward to meeting everyone again next year in Christchurch.

Smart Cess Pit Maintenance

What is a cess pit?

Cess pits are the unsung heroes of the stormwater world! Everything flows to the cess pits. Cess pits are primarily used for onsite containment, collection and treatment. A cess pit or catch pit is a stormwater treatment device comprised of three key elements – a grate, a small sediment trap, and a siphon on the outlet.

We’ve gathered some information on how cess pits work for you to help illustrate why great cess pit maintenance is essential for effective performance and protection of our waterways.

How does a cess pit work?

    1. A cess pit collects rainwater through the grate.
    2. The solid material the water has picked up on the way to the pit will fall out of suspension and settle down to collect on the bottom of the trap.
    3. The clean water will drain through the siphon and out into the stormwater network.

Who owns a cess pit and whose responsibility is it to maintain it?

    1. Cess pits on the road usually belong to the council. They will have a contractor who will be responsible for maintaining them, which may be us.
    2. Cess pits on a private car park or building will belong to the land owner and they will be responsible for making sure the cess pit is maintained by a stormwater maintenance company.

Why should I ensure regular cess pit maintenance?

There are two really great reasons to ensure cess pit maintenance is regular and professionally done.

    1. To avoid the risk of blockages and flooding. Noone wants storm water backing up and spilling over because of a blocked cess pit.
    2. To ensure sediment doesn’t build up until it is high enough to get stirred up by stormwater flow and transferred out of the pit back into the stormwater network… and eventually into our ocean.

When should I get a company to maintain my cess pits?

    1. Cess pits need to be serviced annually at a minimum to ensure they are clean enough to function effectively and to prevent overflow.
    2. We pride ourselves on working with property owners to ensure they have the optimum frequency of maintenance for the servicing – for the environment; and for the customer’s budget.

What should I do if I think my cess pits need maintenance, or I don’t know when they were last serviced?

It’s really simple – just call us to come and have a look at them and we will give you a free, no-obligation quote.

Please do not try to do this yourself. There are thousands of bacteria living on the lids and inside them, which can pose a serious health risk to anyone apart from trained stormwater maintenance professionals. Also, the lids are designed to be extremely heavy and one needs to know how to lift the lid, and have the correct equipment.

How can I do more?

To improve on the performance of a well maintained cess pit, and avoid unforseeable issues caused by rubbish, we can install a LittaTrap inside your cess pits. As the name suggests, a LittaTrap works to keep all litter out of the pit and out of the stormwater network, helping ensure that your stormwater system remains high functioning and clear, releasing only clean water to our local harbours.

How is a Cess Pit cleaned?

Our team use a Vacuum truck (or our low height vacuum trailer if required) to suck all the sludge and sediment out of the cess pit, along with all the particles and pollutants in the sediment – leaving only clean water in the cess pit.

Cess Pit before maintenance

Vacuuming the Cess Pit
Cleaned Cess Pit – note lower water level


2020 Ended on a High

2020 for Dutton Stormwater ended with a marvelous orange celebration held in the Sustainable Coastlines facility on Hammer Street.  Starting with champagne in the park, then a bus-ride into town, we mingled and chatted before sitting down for a beautiful meal followed by our traditional giant WIFLE.

I discussed how successful 2020 had been for us as a company. I have six success indicators – if these are greater than the previous year, I consider the year a success. These are more:
Joy . Health and happiness . Wealth . Faith . Wisdom . Gratitude

This year our People’s Choice Award went to the unbelievable Sonny Chan.

The Directors Award for the Employee of the year went to Charles Roskilley who has been a rock for our company for over four years, and continues to set the standard four our Vacuum Truck Division.

Goals for 2021

  1. We will begin on a long-term strategy towards zero emissions by 2030 with an all-electric fleet.
  2. We will aim to invest in a little short ‘sucker’ who can easily enter low car parks.
  3. We have ordered our “Trailer Trash” vac-truck which will go where other trucks cannot go.
  4. We will grow Wellness Wednesday and Marvelous Magical Mondays to become part of our company culture. We do what we say we are going to do to look after our staff.
  5. We will have an Advisory Board of Directors to assist with strategy.
  6. We will begin our Central Auckland maintenance contract.
  7. We will continue to deliver to the largest and smallest customers all over New Zealand.
The new versatile ‘Trailer Trash’ unit

And one over-arching goal – Even more focus on accuracy

Being the best stormwater maintenance company in New Zealand is a challenge we have all accepted. With that challenge comes demanding standards.

We have opted for an overarching goal of becoming even more ACCURATE in 2021.

This strategy will permeate our entire business and will contribute to the growth and success of our company for this year. I would like to advise my staff to all brace themselves for another colossal chapter in growth of Dutton Stormwater Maintenance Ltd.

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.