Ian Taylor, Puketaha
When constructing a new effluent pond, Ian set his sights firmly on the future, by choosing a system that far exceeded minimum standards.
He’d been planning an effluent pond for a while, but was waiting on results from a project investigating how effluent runs through peat soil. However, a very wet spring last year prompted him to act earlier than expected.
“I went for a pond that was twice the size I needed, at 2000 cubic metres. I wanted to build some contingency in, because the regional council rules have changed – and who knows what they’ll be in another 10 years,” says Ian.
Melissa Slattery, Te Aroha
Part of the Slatterys’ process for buying a new farm a year ago was investigating its current effluent system.
Melissa and husband Justin, who were both brought up on dairy farms around Te Aroha, knew it needed upgrading. They were quick to create a plan for ensuring they met compliance and were set up for the future.
“We knew the effluent system was a red flag, and we knew what our responsibilities were when we bought the farm. We’ve created a plan and we’ve been working with the regional council, whose people have been really easy to work with,” says Melissa.
John Hayward, Te Awamutu
Over the last nine years, farm owners John Hayward and Susan O’Regan have been working on a plan to make their farm one of the most environmentally sustainable in the region. New effluent ponds will be the latest investment, adding to a long list of work, including regenerating wetlands, planting riparian strips and fencing waterways.
“Putting in ponds makes it a lot simpler for us and takes the stress away – it fits in with where we want to be in our business,” says John.
“We’re going through a process around that now and there’s an opportunity to add another pond in the middle of the farm as well, instead of having one big one.”
DairyNZ resources and events
Regional councils nationwide will be looking to ramp up inspections of high-risk effluent management systems over the coming months.
DairyNZ has a range of resources to help you manage your system, including effluent compliance checklists. These checklists are a self-audit to help farmers to achieve resource consent compliance in all regions of New Zealand.
This article was originally published in Inside Dairy December 2018