Costly discharge for Waianakarua farmers

Dairy farming couple Kelly Raymond Campbell and Morgan Lyndsay Johnson and their company Dairy Success Ltd were fined about $30,000 in the Dunedin District Court yesterday for effluent ponding on their Waianakarua farm in December 2011.

Environment Court Judge Jeff Smith yesterday heard the effluent ran into a duck pond on their farm which adjoins Settlement and Bluff Hill roads, Waianakarua, on December 1, 2011.

Judge Smith said an Otago Regional Council enforcement officer on a routine inspection noted effluent from a travelling irrigator flowing down a drain to a "duck pond", with a slight discharge to a drain below.

Campbell was operating the farm in Johnson's absence when the discharge was detected.

While the spill did not enter a natural watercourse, it could have in a heavy weather event when the drain filled up.

No damage was done except to a "man-made" pond, he said.

Travelling irrigators should only be used with constant supervision or when suitable devices were attached so these problems did not occur, Judge Smith said.

Dairy Success Ltd was fined $21,000 and ordered to pay $386.23, photocopying and services $573.10, court costs $132.89, solicitor's fee $113 while Johnson was fined $5500 and ordered to pay court costs $132.89, solicitor's fee $113 and Campbell was fined $3375 and ordered to pay court costs $132.89, solicitor's fee $113.

Judge Smith ordered 90% of each of the fines be paid to the Otago Regional Council.


Add a Comment






Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter