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Published: 2016-08-04 00:00:00

Following the heavy rain that’s struck the region in recent days, Waikato Regional Council is reminding farmers to contact the council if they need advice on managing high effluent pond levels.

Heavy rain helping to fill up ponds means farmers can be under more pressure to empty them to stop effluent spilling out in large and difficult to manage amounts, which can end up in waterways.

“We acknowledge some ponds will be close to overtopping due to the rain but farmers still need to do everything they can to ensure they don’t overtop,” said the council’s farming services team leader Stuart Stone.

“They should actively manage their ponds and take all reasonable steps to prevent effluent from entering waterways.”

Options for lowering pond levels other than irrigating to pasture include looking to transport material away by tanker for disposal or using someone else’s surplus storage. Farmers can also ensure stormwater system flows are diverted away from ponds.

“The situation underlines the need for farmers to have enough storage to ensure they can comply with council rules 365 days a year,” said Mr Stone.

If farmers feel their pond is at risk of overtopping, or they want other effluent-related advice, they can call the farming services team on 0800 800 402.