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