Rules al­low room to move

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

Re­gional coun­cil rules around dairy ef­flu­ent are clear and eas­ily un­der­stood so there’s no real ex­cuse for not ap­ply­ing them, says Brian Ni­chol­son of ef­flu­ent ad­vis­ers Hi- Tech En­viro So­lu­tions.

‘‘ Some sug­gest the rules are hard to fol­low but the fact that they have not changed for nearly 20 years is a real plus for good de­sign­ers of dairy ef­flu­ent sys­tems and farm­ers.

‘‘ Each farm is dif­fer­ent and rather than hav­ing ex­tremely pre­scrip­tive rules that are not rel­e­vant to ev­ery farm, we have a de­gree of lux­ury and free­dom in the Waikato with the farmer able to de­sign and in­stall some­thing that is prac­ti­cal for their in­di­vid­ual prop­erty.’’

This al­lows farm­ers to as­sume what­ever level of risk they feel they can safely man­age to meet the coun­cil rules, Mr Ni­chol­son said.

‘‘ For ex­am­ple, in some ar­eas of New Zealand, if you have a trav­el­ling ir­ri­ga­tor, you must have an elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem to shut the pump off once the trav­el­ling ir­ri­ga­tor stops mov­ing.

‘‘ While we strongly rec­om­mend that they are used, a farmer in the Waikato can choose to in­stall it now, later, or man­age the risk by other meth­ods.’’

How­ever, this can be dif­fi­cult due to the age of some sys­tems, the way ef­flu­ent sys­tem de­sign­ers have in­ter­preted rules, or poor de­ci­sions made by some farm­ers, Mr Ni­chol­son said.

Muck Mat­ters is sup­plied each month by Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil.

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