Hawke's Bay Regional Council is introducing new rules to manage on-site wastewater discharges from October 1.
It is part of changes to the regional resource management plan which was put through a review last year with the aim of making the rules easier to understand.
The council's consents officer Charlotte Drury said the focus was now on locations where wastewater discharges may pose a higher risk to the environment and people's health, such as small or sloping sites.
"Unless wastewater systems located on slopes comply with design specifications in the new rules they will require resource consent. Small sites and sites with shallow water tables are also challenging for designing appropriate on-site wastewater systems," she said.
"The new rules require that any new on-site wastewater discharge on a property of less than 1000sq m must be authorised by resource consent."
Mrs Drury said the changes to the rules will mean consents were no longer required for many existing on-site wastewater systems but there would also be some situations where consents were now required for new systems where previously discharges would have been permitted.
People unsure of the new rules could contact the regional council.