The future of dairy effluent storage is here
As diary farmers grapple with regulations on effluent storage a Waikato man has come up with a simple solution.
Coming from a dairy background, Tamahere based Anton Meier knows all too well the regulations surrounding the storage of effluent and the costs associated.
Two years ago Meier’s company Flexi Tanks NZ Ltd imported his first bladder tank and now his phone is constantly ringing as farmers are convinced they are the future answer to all their storage problems.
Offering a simple solution for storage in high risk soil areas the Flexi Tank (bladder) can store up to one million litres of dairy effluent or water.
Meier’s excitment is infectious once dairy farmers sees how simple the product is and like their effluent, spreading the word.
Easy installation means it takes two hours to roll out the bladder on a 100mm horizontal bed of sand near the dairy shed which provides a totally closed, liquid tight storage facility which requires no maintenance.
‘‘Once in place screw on the valves and hook it up to the sump pump and you’re in the storage business and when you hook the tank to your irrigators then you are ready to go,’’ said Meier.
He accepts its hard for a farmer to believe but seeing is believing and now the Waikato Regional Council and Fonterra have seen it they’re talking to farmers.
The bladders tick all the boxes satisfying resource requirements.
‘‘And the beauty is you don’t require a consent either.’’
Unlike open storage tanks the bladders are completely enclosed so safety is not an issue and because there is no air in the tank, it avoids the hard crust on top of the effluent.
‘‘The advantage of the bladder system is it will rise and decrease in height dependent upon the volume of storage,’’ he said.
Manufactured from a multi layered technical fabric with a tensile strength of 450kg per 5cm which means they cannot be easily punctured.
Meier had heard about European farmers using the storage system so he did his research before being convinced the tanks were a way forward for New Zealand farmers.
He now imports the Flexi Tanks from France and will have them on show at the National Fieldays in June.
The bladder has many outlets which can be attatched directly to an irrigator.