Auckland Council has filed 17 charges of sewage dumping against three people involved in an east Auckland golf club.

Steve Pearce, the council's manager of regulatory compliance, said the defendants were of the Formosa Golf Club.

"Auckland Council has filed 17 charges against three defendants relating to discharges of wastewater at the Formosa Golf Club in Beachlands, East Auckland. The defendants have been summoned to appear at the Manukau District Court on January 22," Pearce said.

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The cases have been brought under the Resource Management Act and can carry a maximum penalty of two years' prison, a $300,000 fine, or a $600,000 fine for a company.

"We take a graduated approach to enforcement, however where there are serious effects from non-compliance and the council's requests are ignored we will take offenders to court," he said.

"The council takes improving Auckland's water quality very seriously and significant effort is spent in working to maintain the quality of streams and other waterways across Auckland."

The issue is understood to have dated back some years.

"If you see something going into our water that doesn't appear right, please call us on 301 0101 so we can have our compliance team check it out at the earliest possible time," Pearce said.

Hidden cameras were understood to be involved in bringing the issues to the council's attention.

The club today referred inquiries about the charges to general manager Graham Chin, saying he was only available by email.

The Herald has contacted Chin via email.

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In June, he was reported as acknowledging a problem with the Formosa wastewater treatment plant but said at the time it was being fixed and although there would be a temporary disruption, expert contractors were on the job.