New dairy effluent assessment programme launched

Dairy farmers now have the opportunity to get their effluent system assessed by an independent, certified assessor.

The Dairy Effluent 'Warrant of Fitness' (WOF) programme, developed with the support of DairyNZ, is being launched at the Waikato Effluent Expo at Mystery Creek on Tuesday 25 March.

DairyNZ’s Sustainability team leader, Dr Theresa Wilson, says there was a need to develop a consistent method for assessing an effluent system to ensure it is fit for purpose for the farm.

"Many farmers have been upgrading their effluent system over the last few years. Getting it assessed by an independent expert to see if it meets the grade gives them peace of mind," says Theresa.

"A WOF assessor will look at the farm’s complete effluent infrastructure," says Theresa.  "They will point out areas of risk and suggest practical actions a farmer can take to ensure their system is capable of being compliant 365 days a year."

The three to four hour assessment will also cover the farm’s effluent consents and permitted rules, the storage capacity, nutrient loadings, soil risk, irrigator performance, off-pasture infrastructure and general health and safety requirements.

"Farmers that are planning an upgrade and are not sure which parts of the system need addressing will find it very useful talking to an independent expert," says Theresa.

"If you are buying or selling a farm, if you are a sharemilker moving onto a new property or part of a group owning a farm, it makes sense to call in a WOF assessor to understand how well the effluent system is performing."

While more professionals are undergoing training and certification in the coming months, farmers can already choose from a number of certified WOF assessors at


Media contact
Monica McQueen
DairyNZ Marketing Manager - Sustainability
027 706 4784