27 Mar 2013

Farmer fined for effluent breach

2:21 pm on 27 March 2013

A judge has ordered a Northland farmer and a company he is associated with to pay a total of $40,000 in fines and charges for illegal discharges of dairy effluent

Stephen Geoffrey Purvis and Share Farms E.P. Ltd have admitted a charge laid by the Northland Regional Council of discharging farm dairy effluent into a tributary of the Waipuakakaho Stream in late 2011.

They also admitted contravening an abatement notice at the Hukerenui dairy farm the company has owned since 2003.

In October 2011, 500 cows were being milked on the farm and a council officer discovered a blocked pipe had caused an unknown volume of untreated effluent to flow into a drain and the tributary.

The farmer said the incident occurred because a sump had blocked with weed in heavy rain and large volumes of water were being used to clean the cowshed, plant and yard.

The judge said the incident was "an example of offending that has occurred because there has been a failure on the part of the systems that have been put in place to deal with the dairy effluent".