Dairy farm effluent (liquid waste and sewage) can pollute rivers, creeks and other waterways via single sources, such as pipes or drains.
It can also pollute waterways via multiple sources because of poor land use. These pollutants can wash into waterways after rainfall.
Pollutants can include:
- nutrients from effluent
- milk from washdown, spillage and waste milk
- soil washed into streams in rainfall run-off.
These can be sources of ground and surface water pollution.
If stock have access to waterways, they can also pollute the water and speed up erosion.
Polluted waterways are a risk to:
- people’s health
- aquatic life
- ground species that rely on waterways.
Dairy farms, EPA and the law
EPA regulates dairy farms’ risk to human health and the environment through:
Reviewed 3 December 2021