Inspections of dairy farms in South Otago at the start of the new season have found what the regional council is describing as disturbing number of dirty dairying offenders.
The Otago Regional Council's chief executive says it has done everything it can to try and get the message across to farmers that they have to take their effluent responsibilities seriously.
Peter Bodeker said while the majority of farmers have complied, an unacceptable number have not.
"Early into the season we found a disturbing number of farmers that are non-compliant and exhibiting activities which are prohibited under our water plan.
"It's disturbing that we've spent a lot of time working with farmers and working with organisations like Federated Farmers and Dairy NZ and other groups to try and improve the water quality and the practices of effluent disposal - but so early in the season we're getting some disappointing results."
Mr Bodeker said the council would increase the number of inspections it carried out on farmers who did not comply.