20 Dec 2021

Waikato farmers told to check effluent management systems or face prosecution

11:30 am on 20 December 2021

Waikato Regional Council is asking farmers in the region to pick up their effluent management practices after monitoring yielded mixed results.

Waikato effluent sampling.

Effluent sampling in the Waikato. Photo: Supplied / Waikato Regional Council

Following the recent easing of Covid-19 restrictions in the Waikato, the council's rural compliance team has resumed its proactive monitoring of effluent management systems across the region's 4000 dairy farms.

Rural compliance team leader Stu Stone said weather conditions had been good for irrigating, and it had expected to see effluent being used effectively as a fertiliser and not having a negative impact on the environment

"But we've found one in 10 of the farms visited either has not got adequate infrastructure in place, or their management practices have slipped.

"It is unfortunate that we are placed in a position of having to formally investigate the worst of these cases, and there is a real possibility that some of them may result in prosecution."

Stone said the council encouraged farmers to connect with the wider industry to get good guidance on dairy effluent infrastructure.

"There are accredited designers listed by DairyNZ they will design an effluent infrastructure system that is fit for purpose for that particular farm.

Stone reminded farmers that even with a good level of infrastructure there still needed to be investment made in staff training and all farm staff needed to be vigilant on a daily basis to avoid mishaps.

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