A new facility to help prevent stock effluent leaking onto our roads and waterways will provide long-awaited benefits for motorists and the King Country’s farming industry, as well as improving road safety and protecting the environment.
NZ Transport Agency regional highways manager David McGonigal says the Agency proposes to begin work soon on a stock effluent facility on SH4 at Manunui to enable drivers transporting stock to empty their effluent holding tanks straight into the treatment system, so they don’t end up discharging it on the highway.
“Until now, there has been no stock effluent facilities in the Ruapehu District, even though farming is the backbone of King Country’s economy. Without effluent disposal points, truckies with full holding tanks often have to dispose of effluent on the side of the highway, which pollutes the local environment, particularly local waterways that the region holds dear.”
“This facility will support local industry, improve road safety, and help to protect the environment by getting stock effluent off the roads and in the sewerage system where it belongs.”
Mr McGonigal says trucks that don’t empty their holding tanks can end up spewing effluent on the road.
“When a trucks leaks effluent on the highway, it can create a slimy discharge for several kilometres. The effluent then makes the road slippery, which is a potential safety hazard for drivers, bikers and cyclists. What’s more, it can eat away at the road surface, creating potholes.
“Creating a new stock effluent disposal facility allows effluent to be disposed of safely, hygienically and conveniently. They don’t sound terribly sexy, but in terms of reducing pollution, improving safety and supporting economic productivity, they deliver proven results.”
Mr McGonigal says the effluent goes straight into the sewer system. Grating is regularly cleaned, and odour assessments show that the smell is minimal, with odours unlikely to be detected more than 20m away.
The site would be engineered to ensure sightlines were preserved to maintain safe levels of visibility, and the site would be landscaped to improve its appearance.
Mr McGonigal says the new facility is part of a national network of stock truck effluent facilities and the Manunui location is well placed at around 60-90 minutes from other stock effluent facilities. Holding tanks tend to start filling up after around 90 minutes of travelling, so the facility will be an important addition to the network of existing facilities.
Construction is consented and is due to commence upon the completion of a trade Waste Agreement with Ruapehu District Council. The project will be funded and built by the NZ Transport Agency and the facility managed by Ruapehu District Council.
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