Water is being discussed across the country, but without solutions. Farmers are blamed, never townies, but look at this photo of polluted water entering the Waikato River just upstream of Fairfield Bridge, in September 2016. If a farmer did the same, they would be fined up to $50,000 and closed down until fixed. I've been told by a person that what looked like toilet paper was in some of it.
Environment Waikato told me in 1995 that Hamilton needed four sediment ponds. There are still none while thousands have been built on farms at high cost. This is another example showing that rules for farmers are stricter than for townies.
Waikato Regional Council has forced some farmers to build sediment ponds, but they are negatives because of high costs, and because fresh effluent is of more value and causes less polluting when spread fresh, not months later during which time much has been lost into the air, polluting it, and reduced its fertilising value. In wet weather the solution is to spread it more thinly, which some are doing, and not building sediment ponds.
The Waikato River is now said to have a stagnant water problem, and I agree, but that is because the Waikato River water is not aerated when it leaves its nine hydro schemes. All countries I've researched aerate their used water and the surplus. NZ doesn't.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
The many comments made over the years about pollution in the Waikato River always blame the farmers, but very little is caused by them. Some accused dairy farmers for polluting Lake Taupo, so I asked those who complained how many dairy farms there were. Most said "about 50". There are only five dairy farms, all obeying all the rules.
The first pollution in Lake Taupo was from the hundreds of old septic tanks. Environment Waikato told me in 2001 that they had not been checked, and that the large volume of water in the lake dilutes any bad effects!
Vaughan Jones, ONZM