Media release

Waterway health and road safety paramount during Gypsy Week

Monday 11 May 2015

The Otago Regional Council and Southern District Police are urging dairy farmers, sharemilkers, and truckies to keep southern roads and waterways effluent-free and safe over the next two months.

This is the time of year when there is considerable stock movement on Otago roads as dairy farmers and sharemilkers transport stock by road to new farms and wintering blocks.

This presents twin challenges – slippery roads and the risk to motorists from effluent spilled from stock trucks soiling vehicles and affecting driver visibility - and the possibility that waterways can become polluted by spillages running into them.

Southern District acting road policing manager Senior Sergeant Steve Larking urged truck drivers to make use of ORC’s network of seven effluent disposal sites to empty tanks before they spilled.

Senior Sergeant Larking also urged motorists to take extra care while driving during this period because of the potential for effluent and other material to create hazardous road conditions. This was particularly the case as winter approached, as the effluent could freeze and make roads especially slippery.

Police would be monitoring stock transportation and carrying out enforcement where appropriate, he said.

ORC director environmental monitoring and operations Jeff Donaldson said stock being moved from one property to another should be stood off pasture for 12 hours before being transported.

Mr Donaldson reminded farmers and sharemilkers to keep stock well away from waterways to avoid the potential for pugging and stream bed damage.

Motorists can report stock effluent spills to the ORC Pollution Hotline on 0800 800 033.

For more information contact

Jeff Donaldson
ORC director environmental monitoring and operations
Ph 03 474 0827 or 0274 357 162

Senior Sergeant Steve Larking
Acting district road policing manager
Southern district
NZ Police
Ph 03 471 4998 or 021 190 5621