Dairy farmers can be charged for effluent spills which might enter waterways but councils aren’t councils held to the same high standard for human waste:
A Horowhenua farming couple could lose their business if their district council doesn’t stop flooding their land with sewage.
The commissioners hearing the consent application for the council’s Shannon wastewater treatment plant were told yesterday how a lack of action by Horowhenua District Council to stop water flowing over the dairy farmers’ land polluted it with human waste.
Last month the company that picks up Wayne and Lesley Rider’s milk informed them that if it continued to be a problem the tankers would stop coming. . .
. . . Rider said the council should be given three years to drain the sewage ponds, remove the sludge, reline them and regulate their level to stop the sewage ending up on his land.
The council is asking for a consent to continue discharging waste water into Stansell’s Drain but Rider said every time the drain was in flood, sewage flowed on to his property. “I would support their request if they put a permanent pump at the end of the drain and if they lined their ponds to stop sewage seeping out.”
Horowhenua District Council’s community assets manager Wally Potts has given evidence at the hearing that when the Mangaore Stream rose to a certain level, the flap gate on Stansell’s Drain closed, creating high water in the drain.
Rider said this water then ends up over his property.
But Rider said he felt it would take more than a pump and some lining to sort the council’s problems out. The council should be looking at a land-based discharge and not to water, he said.
“They have got to fix the whole sewage system. I want them given four years to become fully land-based. If Shannon cannot afford to run its sewage system properly then they should look at putting the town on septic tanks.”
How can any council even contemplate a system which could result in raw sewage entering a waterway and flooding land? This is not a first world, 21st century practice.
No farm would be allowed to operate a system which had the potential to cause the sort of pollution the Horowhenua council’s does, nor should it.
There appears to be different rules for cows and people but the high standard of effluent disposal required of farms should also be required of local authorities.