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Published: 2010-07-07 00:00:00

The Regional Transport Committee has taken a major step in working towards zero discharge of stock effluent from trucks onto Waikato roads by 2020. This week, the committee endorsed the Regional Stock Truck Effluent Strategy, recommending it to the Waikato Regional Council for adoption.

Effluent from stock trucks is a long standing problem in the Waikato region, posing health and safety risks to road users. In 1992, a motorcyclist died after skidding on a stock truck effluent spillage in south Waikato. Stock truck effluent spillages also damage roads and have adverse effects on the environment, such as when effluent gets into waterways.

A regional working group, comprising Environment Waikato, roading authorities, farmers, saleyard operators, livestock carriers, and the NZ Police has spent the last 18 months developing the strategy on behalf of the Regional Transport Committee. The strategy aims to prevent stock truck effluent discharges onto the region’s roads by assigning a range of actions to the many parties involved in the issue. These actions include education, enforcement and the construction of effluent disposal facilities along strategic stock truck routes.

Once the strategy has been adopted by the council in late July, work will begin in earnest on implementation. The first major task will be the development of an agreed cost sharing formula for the construction and maintenance of effluent disposal facilities. In addition, work will actively continue on investigation of a number of disposal facility sites in the region including Morrinsville saleyards, Putaruru, and Te Kuiti.