Farmer’s actions ‘appalling’
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.