Otago Regional Council is proposing to take tougher measures against farmers and farm foresters who pollute waterways with sediment.
It has introduced a new policy that will allow it to take enforcement action against poor land management and development practices that result in streams and rivers being contaminated by sediment runoff.
The council's resource management director, Selva Selvarajah, says it receives regular complaints about sediment runoff from agricultural and forestry activities but has so far not taken legal action.
Dr Selvarajah the council is now trying to take a consistent approach to all sediment runoff.
He says the new enforcement approach will be complemented by an increase in education about the impact on waterways of earthworks associated with subdivisions, farms, forestry and in-stream works.