NZMP Assists Environment Waikato
NZMP has been assisting Environment Waikato with its investigation into potential sources of contamination in the Waikato River.
Higher than normal levels of bacteria, have been found in a clean water discharge from the NZMP Hautapu site near Cambridge, NZMP Global Director Manufacturing and Milk Supply Max Parkin said today.
The principal discharge from the site is clean water and condensate, derived from water extracted from milk received on site and is covered by resource consent. The discharge pipe is located 6.7kms from the site.
Mr Parkin said previous testing indicated the discharge to be of low bacterial risk.
“The detection of bacteria from this clean water discharge has come as a complete surprise,” Mr Parkin said. ”It appears as if bacteria has been growing inside the storage tank and discharge pipeline.
“We would never have expected any microbial contamination in a clean water discharge. It is an unfortunate situation that could not have been predicted.”
Mr Parkin said the potential for organic material to enter the discharge in question was neglible. All dairy factory waste from Hautapu is spray-irrigated on farms owned and in most cases operated by the company, he said.
The storage system for the discharge and the pipeline has since been isolated, cleaned and sanitised.
NZMP and Environment Waikato will carry out increased regular testing to monitor the quality of the discharge.