Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Autoflow system?
Autoflow systems are natural wastewater treatment systems which use worms and micro organisms to treat wastewater. The treated wastewater is discharged back into the environment via a dispersion or drainage field.
Does it treat both black and grey water?
Yes, the Autoflow system uses two tanks to treat household wastewater: a vermi (black water) tank and a grey water tank. The wastewater flows are separated as they leave a dwelling before they enter the Autoflow tanks. The vermi tank receives wastewater from the toilet and kitchen. The grey water tank receives wastewater from the bathroom and laundry.
Does the Autoflow system require a grease trap?
No. Grease is made up of the fats and oils coming from the kitchen. This water combines with the toilet water in an Autoflow system and treated in the vermi (black water) tank. The worms digest the grease along with the food scarps in the kitchen wastewater.
Are there limitations on what can be put into the system?
Yes. The Autoflow system is a living ecosystem and will not tolerate toxic chemicals being put into it. Eco-friendly cleaning products are readily available and should be used with an Autoflow system.
Does it smell?
No. The Autoflow system is an aerobic system. To work it requires fresh air. The worms and micro-organism need an aerobic environment to digest and treat the wastewater.
Do council's accept it?
Yes. Currently we have Autoflow wastewater system installed in almost every region in New Zealand.
Does it require a service contract?
No. Autoflow is a DIY system and maintenance is carried out by the owner. The system will come with a management plan which outlines how to keep your system in top working order.
How often does the Autoflow system require servicing?
We suggest a minimum of twice a year. What is required is explained in the management plan.
What do you do with the worm cast inside the black water tank?
Once the worm cast is dug out it needs to be dug into soil. It is a valuable soil nutrient and can be used around gardens, trees, and general landscaping. Worm cast from your Autoflow system should not be used to grow leaf or root vegetables.
How often does the worm cast require digging out?
Our experience is every three to six years.
What do you do with the treated wastewater?
This is either siphoned or pumped to a field of small pipes in the ground called a dispersion field. A dispersion field can be used to irrigate gardens, fruit trees or wood lots. Waste water should never be used to irrigate a vegetable garden.
How much fall is required to have a siphoned (passive) system?
2.5 m is the minimum fall required from your dwelling to the dispersal field area for a passive system to work.
What if I don’t have the 2.5 metres of fall required for a passive system?
If you don’t have enough fall a small submersible pump is used instead. This is common on flat properties.
Can we run a pumped system if we are on alternative power?
Yes. The dispersion field utilises a low pressure system so the pump is not power hungry. It uses approx. 60watts per day.
Would an Autoflow system suit a bach?
Yes. It is ideal. Worms in an Autoflow system breed or hibernate according to how often they are fed. This is ideal for a bach which has intermittent use.