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Published: 2015-10-20 00:00:00

An effluent spreading company has been convicted and fined $15,000 for illegally discharging effluent into the environment.

The company, Natural Spreaders Limited, has been operating since 2009 and provides effluent spreading services to farmers in and around the greater Tokoroa area.

The case, brought by Waikato Regional Council, related to spreading work done by the company in May 2014 on a dairy farm near Putaruru. A member of the public driving by reported the work to the council due to concerns about the manner effluent was being applied.

Attending council staff found large amounts of dairy effluent had been irrigated onto a paddock that, contrary to the requirements of the relevant rules in the Waikato Regional Plan, had resulted in ponding in various locations and effluent running off, putting the nearby Pokaiwhenua Stream at risk.

“Farmers should be able to engage contractors with confidence that they will do work in an environmentally safe and lawful manner,” said council investigations manager, Patrick Lynch. 

“This is another reminder to all those who work with our natural resources to follow best practice at all times.”