Pollutants from dairy farm effluents (liquid waste and sewage) can wash into waterways after rainfall.

Before the rainy season or a known heavy rain event, try to make sure your effluent ponds have enough storage for increased capacity. While these will be diluted, they can still cause impacts to human and environmental health due to contamination and excess nutrients in waterways. As soon as safely possible, check pumps and effluent ponds to ensure they still function effectively.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has information on the safe operation of generators after a flood.

Heavy rainfall and flooding can also cause power outages resulting in large amounts of spoiled milk. Agriculture Victoria has information on emergency disposal of milk.

Stock disposal

Floods may result in large numbers of animal carcasses needing disposal. Where possible, disposal to landfill is your first and best option for dead stock.

In areas or situations where dead stock cannot be moved to a landfill, limited numbers (less than 500 sheep or 150 cattle on the farm) can be composted or buried onsite. Burial sites should be carefully chosen, to protect your groundwater, and surface waters from contamination, as well as protecting yourself and your neighbours and other surviving animals from disease spread, odour and possible health hazards.

Agriculture Victoria has more information on:

For intensive animal industries, such as feedlots, piggeries, broiler and egg farms, stock must not be buried on the property without EPA approval. Approval from EPA is required for more than 500 sheep or 150 cattle on the farm. Burning of dead stock should be avoided unless it is required for disease control, or as a last resort if a burial site is not available. In case of hardship and emergency situations, these waste materials need to be managed urgently within the community to minimise environmental and health risks.

Reviewed 3 November 2021