A Southland rural transport company has been fined $18,000.
Kapuka Transport Ltd was fined by Judge Craig Thompson in the Environment Court in Invercargill this afternoon after it earlier admitted discharging truck wash wastewater on to land in circumstances where the discharge entered water.
Judge Thompson said on June 10 last year an Environment Southland monitoring officer visited the depot for a routine inspection of the effluent disposal system.
The officer found the pot sprayer had not been used for some time.
She found a large quantity of sludge where the effluent pipe to the pot sprayer had either become uncoupled or split, Judge Thompson said.
The wastewater was draining to a small waterway on the company's property.
The waterway was a tributary of the Mataura River, he said.
It had also flowed through a paddock on the neighbouring property where it had mixed with rainwater and ponded.
The company holds a discharge permit authorising the discharge of truck wash wastewater on to land at the depot but conditions of the permit include no surface runoff/overland flow, ponding or contamination of water resulting from the application of the discharge to pasture, he said.
No one had deliberately set out to cause the discharge, the court was told.
There was an immediate co-operation and work required to avoid similar incidents was carried out, Judge Thompson said.
The company's lawyer Tim Mackenzie said it had accepted responsibility and had shown remorse.
The offending was unintentional and had little environmental effects.
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