A farmer and a truck wash company in the Waikato have been fined a total of more than $100,000 after "completely avoidable" incidents involving the unlawful discharge of animal effluent.
Hauraki farmer Willian Gary Brunt was ordered to pay $49,000 after an effluent holding pond on his Netherton farm was found to be overflowing into a nearby paddock.
The pollution was discovered during a routine inspection in August 2019 by Waikato Regional Council staff and came after Brunt had already been warned about the risks his system posed to the environment.
In a separate incident, Matamata truck wash company Paddy Smith Limited was fined $60,000 after a complaint from a member of the public in May 2020 sparked an investigation.
When the council responded to the complaint they found an irrigator had been operated next to a gully for around six hours, resulting in "substantial ponding of contaminant creating flow paths to the Tututahunga Stream", the Waikato Regional Council said in a statement.
"The discharge comprised washdown from stock trucks."
Patrick Lynch, compliance manager at the Waikato Regional Council, said there was no excuse for the actions of either Brunt or the truck wash business.
"In both cases there was adequate infrastructure to manage effluent; however, they had been poorly managed resulting in these two completely avoidable incidents," Lynch said on Friday.
"This is an opportunity to remind anyone that manages contaminants as part of their business to be vigilant, not only to protect the environment, but also to protect themselves from the consequences of environmental breaches."