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Published: 2014-05-30 00:00:00

Effluent spread on pasture in South Waikato appeared so thickly, and in such volumes, that passing motorists stopped to take photographs of it, says Waikato Regional Council.

The council received a complaint yesterday afternoon that thick effluent was pooling on pasture and possibly discharging to water.

A formal investigation to assess the circumstances of the discharges has been commenced.

Council staff went to the scene and found large volumes of thick effluent had been applied to paddocks.

“Some of the effluent had flowed over land through culverts to a roadside drain and, from there, to the nearby Pokaiwhenua Stream”, said the council’s investigations manager Patrick Lynch.

“Also, the volume of effluent was such that the material had ponded in places and this poses a risk of contaminants in the effluent getting into ground water.”

Information was given to the council that suggested several motorists had stopped to photograph the ponding.

Parties at the Arapuni Rd property have been directed to cease any further discharges of effluent to land and take action to limit any further adverse effects from what has been spread so far.

“Those remediation efforts are being assessed by the council today,” Mr Lynch said.

“We’ve also collected samples so that the content of the effluent and any adverse environmental effects can be determined.”