As environmental compliance for dairying continues to
tighten, business increases for those who are involved in
constructing facilities and systems to meet effluent and
Federated Farmers reports 887 farming effluent discharge
holders in Southland, and with continued revision to
compliance requirements, farmers are having to install new
systems or upgrade in order to remain compliant.
Pete Excell, owner of Pete Excell Building Ltd, said his
company began working with effluent treatment and containment
systems about four years ago, after being approached by a
Since then, effluent projects had increased to make up about
25% of total jobs completed by his business, and work was
completed as far afield as Omakau in Central Otago.
Changes to compliance requirements developed so fast that
some systems that might well have met standards last year,
might not be accepted today, Mr Excell said.
''It is not something that is standing still. People are
trying to do it better and be more environmentally
friendly,'' he said.
''Most of the boys are trying really hard to clean their act
An Environment Southland environmental compliance monitoring
report released in December found that full compliance on
dairy farms during effluent discharge consent inspections had
increased, while both minor and marginal non-compliance had
However, instances of significant non-compliance had slightly
Federated Farmers Southland provincial president Russell
MacPherson said in a press release that Federated Farmers
believed a new attitude shown by Environment Southland was
beginning to pay off.
Farmers previously felt they would be ''belted for
anything'', but were now seeing partnership and greater
understanding, Mr MacPherson said.
Mr Excell said the size of effluent treatment systems his
company constructed covered anything from between 60sq m to
about 600-700sq m, with average systems probably costing
about $250,000, he said.
''Some new systems are costing half a million dollars, so
farmers get frustrated when they only hear the negative side
[of dairy and effluent issues]. It's not like they are
sitting on their hands.''
- by Leith Huffadine