Animal effluent storage and discharge

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How new water plan rules affect your storage and discharge

Frequently asked questions

Implementation calculator for animal effluent storage

If you need a resource consent

 

How new water plan rules affect your storage and discharge

The rules in the ORC Regional Plan: Water have been updated, which means in most cases consent will now be needed for both effluent storage facilities and discharging effluent to land. 

Depending on the set-up of the system, and what you are proposing to do, further consents may be necessary (e.g., components of an effluent system: weeping wall, stone trap, sump).

The rules apply now for new and existing animal waste storage. More information can be found on our fact sheets, or in our media release.

View a fact sheet about animal effluent storage systems (ancillary structures)
View a fact sheet about effluent storage consents
View a fact sheet about rules, definitions and timelines for effluent
View the  July 2023 animal effluent workshop presentation 

All new ponds and tanks will generally require resource consent before they are constructed. Some smaller structures that are not used for storage will not need consent. As well as consent for your storage, you will also need consent to discharge effluent to land.

Existing effluent storage constructed prior to 25 March 2020 that does not meet the permitted criteria is temporarily permitted with an application for consent not needing to be lodged until at least 4 June 2023 or until a later date for some systems. However, farmers are encouraged to apply now or to start thinking about their storage system.

 

Frequently asked questions

 

There are a range of national and regional rules that apply to dairy farming activities. Have a look at our Farmer’s Guide for an overview of the rules and information about when you might need consent. If you’re ever unsure, contact our public enquiries team who can help.

If your pond was constructed prior to 25 March 2020:

  • Get a Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) to check the pond is sized in accordance with the 90th percentile as calculated by the dairy effluent storage calculator. If you’re not sure what the criteria is for an SQP, there is information about this further below.
  • Get your pond certified by a SQP as having no visible cracks, holes or defects that would allow effluent to leak from the pond and meeting the relevant pond drop test criteria in Schedule 18.
  • Prepare and implement a management plan in accordance with Schedule 21

If you cannot meet the requirements above, you will need to get a consent. The date you require consent by is determined by how much storage you have.

If your pond was constructed after 25 March 2020; you will need to apply for consent.

If your pond was constructed prior to 25 March 2020:

  • Get a Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) to check the pond is sized in accordance with the 90th percentile as calculated by the Dairy Effluent Storage Calculator.
  • Get your pond certified by a SQP as having no visible cracks, holes or defects that would allow effluent to leak from the pond and meeting the relevant pond drop test criteria in Schedule 18.
  • Prepare and implement a management plan in accordance with Schedule 21

If your pond was constructed after 25 March 2020 you will need to apply for consent.

If your tank was constructed prior to 25 March 2020:

  • Get a Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) to check the tank is sized in accordance with the 90th percentile as calculated by the dairy effluent storage calculator.
  • Get your tank certified by a SQP as having no visible cracks, holes or defects that would allow effluent to leak from the tank.
  • Prepare and implement a management plan in accordance with Schedule 21

If you cannot meet the requirements above, you will need to get a consent. The date you require consent by is determined by how much storage you have.

If your tank was constructed after 25 March 2020; you will need to apply for consent.

A pond drop test, also known as a drop test, is used to test whether there is a leak in the effluent pond. To be permitted under rule 14.7.1.1 a suitability qualified person will need to certify that your storage meets schedule 18 requirements.

You do not need to do a pond drop test for above-ground tanks, bladders, and solid animal effluent storage facilities.

A visual assessment is an inspection carried out by a Suitably Qualified Person to check that there are no visible cracks, holes or defects that would allow effluent to leak from your animal effluent storage facility. For your animal effluent storage facility to be permitted under rule 14.7.1.1 this assessment needs to be done at least every five years.

DESC is the acronym for Dairy Effluent Storage Calculator. To determine whether or not your storage requires consent you will need to engage a Suitably Qualified Person to run the DESC for your farm.

To either meet the permitted activity rule or as part of your consent application, you may need an SQP for your animal effluent system design (pond or tank) and to run the dairy effluent storage calculator for your farm. The skills this person needs for each activity are shown below.

SQP in animal effluent systems

To be an SQP for the animal effluent system, the person must meet the criteria in at least one of these three categories:

  • A relevant tertiary qualification in agricultural engineering, natural resources engineering or civil engineering and at least five years’ professional experience in designing and constructing effluent management systems; or
  • A relevant equivalent qualification (for example, international qualifications) and at least five years’ professional experience in designing and constructing effluent management systems; or
  • At least ten years’ professional experience in designing and constructing effluent management systems.

SQP in calculating dairy effluent storage

  • At least five years’ relevant professional experience in designing effluent management systems, and
  • If determining a conversion factor for animals that are not dairy cows, a relevant scientific tertiary qualification or relevant research experience.

When you are working with an SQP, please make sure they can meet the criteria above.  They will be able to confirm this for you. ORC does not currently have a register of who is a suitably qualified person. 

If your pond was constructed before 25 March 2020, a management plan is required for your animal effluent storage facility to be permitted under rule 14.7.1.1. The purpose of a management plan is to ensure that animal effluent is being stored of and disposed of in an appropriate manner. This will minimise risk of unauthorised discharge of liquid or solid animal effluent to water. A plan is also required as part of a resource consent application.

Management plans need to be prepared and implemented in accordance with Schedule 21.

If you have a pond that is permitted under rule 14.7.1.1, you will need to have a SQP certify your pond through a visual inspection and drop test every five years. If you require consent for your pond, it will include conditions outlining any ongoing requirements.

If you have a tank or bladder that is permitted under rule 14.7.1.1, you will need to have a SQP certify your pond through a visual inspection every five years. If you require consent for your tank or bladder it will include conditions outlining any ongoing requirements.

If you have consent, then you will need to comply with the conditions of that consent.

When you apply for a consent, you will have to pay a deposit. If you’re applying for one consent the deposit fee is $1750 plus a one-off compliance administration fee of $150. If you’re applying for multiple consents the deposit fee is $2300 plus $150.

The deposit won’t cover the full cost of processing the application, and further actual costs are incurred at the rate shown in the scale of charges. You will be invoiced for these costs.

There may be additional fees if you engage consultants/technical experts to assist in the preparation of your application.

Once your consents have been granted, monitoring compliance will be charged at the actual and reasonable cost incurred using the scale of charges. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Staff time to carry out an inspection (if required), audit any monitoring information provided by consent holders, follow up any non-compliance and report back to consent holders (if required)
  • Any costs related to the monitoring, including sampling and testing or any specialist or technical advice needed.

Further information about resource consent costs are on the fees and charges section of this website.

An ancillary structure is not an animal effluent storage facility, rather it is a component of an animal effluent system used for the collection, conveyance or treatment of liquid or solid animal effluent. These include sumps, stone traps and weeping walls.

Yes. A pond drop test will need to be undertaken at least every five years.

This excludes the following systems which do not require a pond drop test:

  • above-ground tanks
  • bladders
  • solid animal effluent storage facilities
  • animal effluent storage facility with a leak detection system

Please see our Farmers Guide for the rules that apply to farming activities, information on when you might need a resource consent, useful links, relevant dates and answers to frequently asked questions.

For calculating when the rules apply to you and your system, please use the calculator on this page.

For calculating the 90th percentile of storage as a condition of consent, please use the Dairy Effluent Storage calculator.

When you apply for consent, you will need to provide information on volumes to ensure the structure is going to be big enough to store the volume of effluent generated on your farm.

You may need to engage a suitably qualified professional to provide the information to support your consent application.

Yes, if they involve the collection, storage and conveyance of animal waste.

 

Implementation calculator for animal effluent storage

Schedule 19 – when do I need to apply for consent by

There are new rules for Plan Change 8 (PC8) that affect dairy farmers regarding storage of waste due to animal milking activity (mainly cows).

The rules have become partially operative from 4 June 2022.

You can learn more here.

Read the Plan Change 8 change.

Use the calculator to find out when you need to apply for a resource consent under Rule 14.7.3.1 of Plan Change 8 (PC8) based on cow milking activity.

 

Animal effluent storage calculator

1. Daily waste volume (m3):


2. Minimum number of days of storage available:

 

If you need a resource consent

If you need a resource consent, you will need to complete the form below:

  • Resource Consent Application (Form 1)
    This must be completed for all resource consent applications made to us. If multiple consents are required for an activity, Form 1 only needs to be completed once.

You will also need to complete the following where relevant to your situation:

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