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Published: 2014-03-18 00:00:00

A new facility which will help to reduce spills of stock effluent on King Country roads is due to be opened in Te Kuiti this week.

The stock truck effluent disposal facility has been designed and built by Waitomo District Council, with funding from the Waikato Regional Council and NZ Transport Agency, and will be officially opened on Thursday, 20 March by Mayor Brian Hanna. 

The new facility will provide 24/7 truck access and is located in Cotter Street, just off Waitete Road (State Highway 30), and is immediately adjacent to the Te Kuiti Sale Yards. 

Waitomo District Council will manage its ongoing operation and maintenance. 

Mayor Hanna said: “This facility in Te Kuiti is well placed to cater for trucks attending sale days and transporting stock to the local meat works, and will require only a short detour for stock trucks travelling on State Highway 3. 

“Because it’s so accessible to truck operators, it should help to reduce spills of stock effluent onto our roads from heavily loaded stock trucks,” he said. 

Effluent is spilled onto the road from stock trucks when the holding tanks are deliberately discharged or accidentally overflow. These sorts of discharges can cause traffic crashes if they make roads slippery or spatter on to windscreens. 

Discharge is also a health hazard for cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians, and causes smelly and unsightly pollution on highways and road sides. Uncontrolled discharges of effluent can cause environmental problems if the effluent enters waterways. 

Regional transport committee chairman and Waikato regional councillor Hugh Vercoe, said: “This facility will certainly fulfil a need in the region and it’s great to see continuing progress being made to address the problem of spills. 

“We set a clear vision in the 2010-2016 Stock Truck Effluent Strategy for zero discharge of stock effluent from trucks onto Waikato roads by 2020. Construction of this new facility is a step towards meeting this objective,” Cr Vercoe said. 

There is one in-transit effluent dumping site in the Waikato, on SH5 at Tapapa, and there are now five at or near sale yards in Te Kuiti, Morrinsville, Taupo, Matamata and Tuakau.

Two further high-priority locations for in-transit disposal facilities are being progressed, with three other sites under investigation, near Putaruru and on SH27 near the Tahuna Road roundabout. Other in-transit facilities are to be investigated in Taupo and Ngaruawahia, as well as another one near Te Kuiti. 

Find out more about the Regional Stock Truck Effluent Strategy, which sets out the roles and responsibilities of the various parties involved with stock truck effluent.