Bid to boost effluent dumping opposed

BRIDGET RAILTON
Last updated 05:00 22/08/2014

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An application to renew and extend a dairy effluent discharge permit at a dairy farm in the Waituna catchment has raised the ire of the Department of Conservation and Fish & Game Southland.

Marshall Road Farm Trustee Ltd has applied to renew permits to take 90,000 litres of groundwater a day, and to discharge dairy shed effluent from up to 750 cows to land at a Marshall Rd, Mokotua, site.

The application will go before an Environment Southland hearing panel on Monday.

The only proposed change to the existing operation is an increase in the effluent discharge area from 50.5 hectares to 109 hectares. However, because it is in the sensitive Waituna area, extra precautions must be considered.

In addition, compliance monitoring results show effluent discharge to land has adversely affected surface water on two monitoring occasions.

Both DOC and Fish and Game New Zealand submitted against the application, which was publicly notified earlier this year, and requested it be declined.

A pre-hearing report prepared by Environment Southland says the main issues are related to the unknown effect of the effluent discharge on water quality, limited surface water monitoring to date, and the identification of tile or subsurface drainage.

Since Marshall Road Farm Trustee took ownership of the property, three inspections have discovered non-compliance with the discharge permit caused by effluent ponding, the report says.

An incident in 2012 discovered effluent being discharged to water and effluent ponding, which is considered significant non-compliance.

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- The Southland Times

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