16 Oct 2008

Council warns farmers over effluent discharge

9:26 pm on 16 October 2008

The Otago Regional Council is angry with persistent effluent discharge problems on the region's dairy farms, despite repeated advice to farmers about how best to comply.

The council is disappointed that its decision to prosecute many non-compliant farmers last season does not seem to have acted as a deterrent.

Between June of last year and May this year, the council prosecuted 26 dairy farmers for failing to properly manage effluent on their properties - two cases are still pending, but the rest were prosecuted successfully.

The council's resource management director, Selva Selvarajah, says of the 120 farms that have been inspected since this season began in June, 28 are not compliant and eight of those warrant prosecution.

He says it is disappointing, especially as the council has run workshops and sent pamphlets and letters to farmers, giving them effluent discharge advice.

Dr Selvarajah says another 160 Otago dairy farms are yet to be inspected, and warns any in serious breach of standards will be prosecuted.