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Published: 2003-12-02 00:00:00

Transit New Zealand plans several new stock truck effluent disposal sites for the Waikato over the next three years.

This week’s Regional Land Transport Committee heard that the North Island Stock Effluent Disposal Strategy Study had proposed discharge sites in Te Kuiti, Putaruru, Taupo, Taumaranui, Mt Messenger, Whangarei, Wellsford, Bombay, Katikati, Opotiki, Waiouru, Bayview Napier and Woodville as first priority for the North Island.

Te Ngae and Wairoa are regarded as second priority and Feilding and Ngaruawahia as third priority.

The study was based on data supplied by the stock industry along with information about industry trends. Colin Knaggs from Transit said it imposed significant limits on the likely amount of spillage because it required all trucks to have at least 300 litres of containment and for at least 75 percent of stock to be stood on farms for a minimum of four hours.

Since this was not currently being achieved, the network of disposal sites could not be fully effective immediately and would require on-going effort to fully implement the code of practice.

The model also assumed the stock saleyards and abattoirs would have facilities to receive the effluent. Wet weather was also an issue and would have a significant effect on the effluent problem.

Transit said it was expecting priority one sites would be included in a staged programme for the next three year block, and its effectiveness should be assessed before consideration was given to implementing the other sites. About $1.3 million a year was requested to build the sites.

Part funding of the discharge infrastructure and on-going maintenance costs would be met by the local authority, even though the sites are on state highways. Local authorities had signalled a reluctance to meet the costs because the problem was one of through traffic, but the sites would benefit local roads and state highways.