Farmer’s ac­tions ‘ap­palling’

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil staff are ap­palled to dis­cover a dairy farmer who ap­pears to have ‘‘man­aged’’ his farm ef­flu­ent by pump­ing it to a nearby wa­ter­course.

Coun­cil staff re­sponded to a com­plaint from a mem­ber of the pub­lic in the Waiuku area on Septem­ber 18 and in­spected a farm, find­ing a num­ber of un­law­ful dis­charges of ef­flu­ent. Of most con­cern was a pump set up to chan­nel ef­flu­ent di­rectly into a nearby trib­u­tary of the Waikato River.

“Quite frankly, this is ap­palling,” said the coun­cil’s in­ves­ti­ga­tions and com­plaints man­ager Patrick Lynch. “We reg­u­larly come across dis­charges that re­sult from neg­li­gence or care­less­ness but de­lib­er­ate dis­charges into the en­vi­ron­ment are rare. I would think that this is very up­set­ting for the wider dairy in­dus­try and all of those farm­ers who man­age their ef­flu­ent re­spon­si­bly.

“Clear di­rec­tion has been given to the farmer to halt these dis­charges im­me­di­ately. There is a high like­li­hood of crim­i­nal charges aris­ing from this.”

The dis­cov­ery came as the coun­cil has be­gun tri­alling a new dairy ef­flu­ent mon­i­tor­ing ap­proach, tar­get­ing farms in ar­eas of high risk soils for more in-depth in­spec­tions.

“This farm was not vis­ited as part of our new in­spec­tion regime, but it re­in­forces the fact that the coun­cil will ac­tively pur­sue any sig­nif­i­cant non com­pli­ance,’’ Mr Lynch said.

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