Southland Regional Council says it intends to adopt new national guidelines on dairy farm effluent pond construction.
DairyNZ has commissioned the Institute of Professional Engineers to draft a guide for pond construction, which should be done by the end of the month.
The council says many regional councils don't have any effluent pond rules in place, which leads to corner-cutting.
Technical services engineer Colin Young says this will give them a framework to operate from. He says it will contain all the information needed when installing an effluent pond, as well as how to deal with treatment in the form of distribution and how much should be applied to land.
Mr Young says most farmers are already doing things correctly, but this will encourage them to ensure that there's minimal effect on the environment.
He says the changes may make pond construction more costly.
Once the guidelines are finalised, it will be up to individual councils to decide whether to adopt them by way of amendments to regional plans.