Poo dumping plagues Waikato
A Waikato farmer is worried truck drivers are dumping stock effluent on a road, next to a stream supplying drinking water to hundreds of people.
Others are also worried effluent discarded on roads could hinder efforts to stop Mycoplasma bovisfrom spreading in the region.
Marcel Hannon said he had, on multiple occasions, witnessed effluent being dumped on Waterworks Road, a rural route between Te Miro and Morrinsville.
The Topehaehae Stream ran parallel to the road and was where Morrinsville’s drinking water supply came from.
‘‘I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t be drinking that water,’’ Hannon said.
He said Waterworks Road was often mistaken as a secluded, country road.
Manawaru and Tower roads in the Matamata-Piako district had also been regular places where effluent had been dumped.
Hannon had approached drivers he had seen discharging effluent.
He said the drivers had been apologetic but some were repeat offenders.
‘‘One guy I said something to was back in the next few days doing the exact same thing,’’ he said.
But a spokesperson from stock transportation firm Waitoa Haulage said there weren’t enough effluent dumping stations, not only in the Matamata-Piako district but throughout New Zealand.
‘‘We have been promised more (dumping stations) time and time again, but they were never delivered.’’
Hannon said the effluent could also pose a hazard for mountain bikers who used the road regularly. The popular Te Miro mountain bike track was nearby.
‘‘This has been an ongoing issue for a number of years around here,’’ he said.
‘‘They think because it seems like a secluded road, nobody notices. They think they can dump s---- everywhere and it’s disgusting.’’
He hoped speaking out would prevent further dumpings.
It was a move supported by the Matamata-Piako District Council, which issued a strong warning to anyone deliberately dumping effluent on its roads.
Mayor Jan Barnes said if people were caught, they would be fined.
Waikato Regional Council’s Stock Truck Effluent Programme spokeswoman Rachel Algar presented to the district council’s Te Manawhenua Forum recently.
She said stock truck effluent ❚ Do you knowof any other roads in the district where effluent is being dumped? ❚ The council was keen for people to report trucks dumping effluent on the road. People should note trucking company name, number plate and take photos to report it to the council on 0800 746 467. ❚ Visit our Neighbourly.co.nz page to have your say. ❚ Email our reporter Katrina Tanirau: firstname.lastname@example.org discharging onto roads was identified as a road safety issue over 10 years ago.
Previous work had been undertaken to improve truck holding tanks and to set up ‘‘intransit facilities’’ to dump effluent throughout the region.
However, continued public complaints, increased discharge on roads and intensification of the dairying industry led the regional council to take action, she said.
A Waikato Regional Stock Truck Effluent Working Group was established which published the Regional Stock Truck Effluent Strategy.
It identified the need for stock truck effluent disposal facilities and work began to identify suitable sites.
A plan was developed with the NZ Transport Agency and regional council.
It detailed 10 new stock truck effluent sites.
Funding had been confirmed to build up to three sites over the next year.
The district council’s group manager service and delivery, Fiona Vessey, said dumping effluent on the road was not only illegal, it was dangerous, poses risks to the environment and public health.
It also could potentially spread diseases to other livestock.
‘‘When a truck leaks effluent on the road it can create a slimy discharge which is a potential safety risk for drivers and cyclists,’’ she said.
‘‘What’s more it can eat away at the road surface creating potholes so it therefore costs our ratepayers money.’’
This dark line to the right of Waterworks Road in the Matamata-Piako district shows a fresh dumping of stock effluent.