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Published: 2016-03-24 00:00:00

Landowners in the Kaimai Ranges are being warned a piggery pond is at risk of overflowing its banks and effluent entering nearby waterways which might be used for drinking or stock.

Waikato Regional Council staff are working with the piggery owners to manage pond levels, which have risen and are threatening to overflow.

Already levels have reached the top of the pond lining.

Two tankers are irrigating the effluent to land to reduce the risk of overflow. However, due to rainfall in the catchment, there is a possibility of effluent entering the Patuwhao and Mangaiti streams.

The regional council’s incident response team leader, Derek Hartley, said landowners downstream of the piggery, which is about 10km north of Te Aroha in the Kaimai Ranges, are being contacted to warn of the potential risk.

“We are working hard with the piggery owners to avoid an overflow, but there is a real risk it might occur and so landowners downstream need to act in preparation for it.

“If effluent does enter the streams, there will be faecal bacteria, ammonia and high nutrients from the piggery effluent in the water.

“We’re urging landowners who are taking surface water from these two streams in this catchment to shut off the pumps until the risk has passed,” Mr Hartley said.

Council staff are monitoring weather reports for the area as part of the response.