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 steph@sustainablecoastlines.org, 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.

Merry Christmas & 2019 Staff Function

Christmas is approaching and we hope you have a wonderful one!

If is often at this point in time when people can see the finish line, they lose sight of what still has to be done. Not here. I have phenomenal people who work for me!

I was lucky enough to meet most of the partners of my staff at our Christmas bash. What a great night. I think the ‘Giant WIFLE (What I Feel Like Expressing)’ was the highlight for me. I’d also like to acknowledge our two Employee of the Year Award Winners;  People’s choice was Marlon Quiban (right, with Said) and Director’s choice was Wiremu Clarke (left, with Ed).

Ten years on…

After what started as a flicker of a vision in 2009 with me, a van, one staff member and a dog, we have come a long way. There are so many things we are striving for at Dutton Stormwater, but at our core we want to employ the best people in the world to carry out the best stormwater service in the world. Everything else falls into place after that.

For me personally I would like to take this opportunity to say a few personal thank yous:

  1. To Ruth, our wonderful Councilor who listens to us with such care and empathy, you are a joy to have in our business – thank you.
  2. To Huia, our organized phenomenal marketing guru. You have transformed our marketing department and you are patient. Thank you.
  3. Roman – our charismatic photographer. You manage to get the best out of a tired looking bunch. Thank you mate.

On the 9th of May 2009 all I said to Kate was that it was now or never. What has happened since then has been quite life changing. I hope it has not defined me. I am my family’s first Dutton in New Zealand, and Dutton Stormwater allows me to express myself as the person I am. I am grateful to this business for that. There have been many little mishaps and tricky situations through which I have gained a sense of faith in the human spirit and strong sense of self-belief. I have learnt that no-one is coming to save me. It has been fun.

Thank you, merry Christmas.
Ed Dutton.

More photos of our fantastic team from our celebration

The Director’s Desk – September

It appears the media is intent on spreading fear and pessimism throughout the business sector. Dutton Stormwater does not subscribe to opinions of the media. Our perception of business in New Zealand and what we are doing remains positive and strong. We defy the odds and have done since our inception. We as a company are not affected by media or other perceptions. We are focusing on our tasks. This is illustrated by the graph below which shows how our percentage of jobs completed being very close to 100% since April.

New additions to the team of fleet

August was a big month from a Human Resource perspective. We continue to embrace our value of diversity. This month we have taken on Conrad Donkin as our sales rep. Conrad has a vast amount of experience in the construction industry both in New Zealand and abroad. He brings a fantastic energy to our team.

Said has also turned up from the Netherlands. Said is slim and fit and joins the crew as a stormwater technician. Said is a man of few words, but his smile is infectious.

LittaTrap™ Success Story

In July we installed two LittaTrap™s on a site in Onehunga. I drove past a few days ago and asked the owner if I could have a look at them. We went over to the pits and pulled the bags out. They had caught a large amount of debris, silt and litter. We emptied them out into a skip on his site and organised a maintenance regime with him going forward. We were both so impressed with the efficiency of this application. The owner took some photos and was determined to show the other members of his board.

Challenge for the city – And a Free Offer

If you want to be proactive in protecting the ocean, call us to come and quote you for installing LittaTrap™s on your site. If you get LittaTrap™s installed in all your cess pits, we will supply and install the first one free!


The Directors’ Desk – August

There are few things more satisfying for me than to see crystal clear water emerging from the outlet of a filtration device we maintain. Over the month of July our crew completed 100% of our planned maintenance jobs. This is a massive feat from everyone. The planning, servicing and invoicing was all completed before the end of the month – a standard we pride ourselves on. I would like to congratulate the team on their effort through the month of July.

Over the month of July, the Dutton Stormwater staff accumulated 13 compliments from customers, ranging from our office staff being “so on the ball” to our operations crew being “so polite and passionate about their work.” Thank you.

Welcome back Claire

During the month of July the phenomenal Claire Storey returned to us. Claire has been on maternity leave and has slotted back into work like she never left. Like any mother, she manages life and business with grace and poise.

Team challenges & team building

12 out of 14 of our staff members completed “dry-July”. Perhaps it was harder for some? Great effort team.

We had a fun morning of Spanbou at the Panic Rooms. Far too complicated for me to find my way out, but we all enjoyed ourselves.

Major project – Sand Filter

A major project in July was the refurbishment of a neglected sand filter in Onehunga. Our team of six removed over 48 tonnes of contaminated silt and disposed of it at an authorized waste facility. This was a monumental effort that spanned over three days. On behalf of all the families of fish in the ocean I want to thank the crew for doing this work.

Stormwater highlights

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System/State Disposal System (NPDES/SDS) MS4 permit is designed to protect US rivers, lakes and streams from polluted stormwater runoff. SEH MS4 specialist April Ryan, water engineer, shared 25 key facts about stormwater, stormwater pollution, permitting and MS4.

Note Fact 25: Everyone can help battle stormwater pollution. “There a dozens of ways all of us can help reduce stormwater pollution. Don’t over-water your lawn. Wash your car in the grass, not in the driveway. Use fertilizers sparingly. There are many others.”

Challenge for the city – Clean UpFlo Filters

Please remember that we are running a special on up-flo filter commissioning. If you sign a contract with us to maintain your site with an up-flo filter on it, we will commission your up-flo filter for free.

Want to know more about UpFlo Filters? Here are two videos that you may like to watch:

Click here to see how the Up-Flo® Filter Stormwater Treatment System removes fine sediments and other pollutants from stormwater runoff, and how simple media bag replacement is compared to other stormwater treatment filters.

Click here to see the Hynds UpFlo Filter specs. Designed to meet current stormwater regulations, and remove 90% total suspended solids (TSS) with a mean particle size of 20 microns, the Up-Flo® Filter combines a patented upwards flow path with a unique drain-down system to achieve proven removal efficiency of fine sediment, nutrients, metals, oils, organics, and organic trapped bacteria. With a low head requirement to drive flows through media, the Up-Flo® Filter is recognised by councils for achieving greater than 75% TSS removal. Impressive.

Proud to be part of Foodstuffs LittaTrap™ Initiative

On the 8th of June, World Oceans Day, Foodstuffs North Island launched a new pilot programme to stop waste flowing to the sea, rolling out a significant investment in rubbish traps for store-based stormwater drains.  

11 New World and PAK’nSAVE stores installed 125 LittaTrap™ catchers from innovative New Zealand company Stormwater360, to stop toxic waste and plastic flowing through drains to our waterways. 

Dutton Stormwater were very proud to be the installers of LittaTrap™ stormwater filters into 11 designated Foodstuffs sites around the north island. We were trained by Stormwater 360 and hit the road for a great cause!