Water Quality on Farm


1 min read

Understanding your catchment Measures of stream health Water quality in my stream

Water quality on your farm is crucial for maintaining healthy dairy practices. This page encourages you to observe the streams on your farm. Check if there's any effluent or sediment running into the water, signs of aquatic life, or whether your stock has access to the water. Also, monitor for any erosion or slumping of river-banks. Being aware of these factors can help improve the water quality on your farm and contribute positively to your dairy farming operations.

There are many options available to improve the health of our waterways. This page will help you understand the actions you can take.

Understanding your catchment

Be aware of the location of water bodies (e.g. streams, rivers, creeks, drains, ponds and wetlands) on your farm and where they flow. Identify this by:

  • Having a look around your farm during heavy wet weather events.
    • Where does the overland flow of the rainwater run?
    • What are the obstructions to this flow?
    • Are there any risk areas for sediment loss?
  • Walk or drive along your waterway in the same direction as the flow, keeping in mind you may need to seek landowner’s permission for this if it flows onto other properties
  • Use online tools to follow the larger streams and rivers that flow from your farm:

Measures of stream health

The figure below describes the factors influencing ecosystem health. The factors circled in yellow or blue can be affected (directly or indirectly) by actions taken on farm. E.coli is affected by actions taken on farm but do not affect ecosystem health, it affects human health.

What is the water quality like in my stream?

Action: Look at the streams on your farm

  • Is any effluent or sediment running into the water from land, bridges, races or culverts?
  • Is any aquatic life visible?
  • Do stock have access to the water?
  • Is there any erosion or slumping of the river-banks?
Last updated: Sep 2023

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