An environmental law specialist is warning dairy farmers to check that their effluent systems are working properly or risk facing tougher penalties.
Hans van der Wal from Duncan Cotterill in Christchurch has been involved in several successful prosecutions for illegal dairy effluent discharges.
He says councils and the courts are coming down harder on farmers who break the rules.
Mr van der Wal believes dairy farmers need to be proactive about checking their effluent disposal systems because the the courts are
going to keep ratcheting up the fines.
He says farm owners also need to make sure that sharemilkers and farm labourers know how the effluent system works.