Animal effluent storage and discharge 

Find out how new water plan rules affect your storage and discharge.

The rules in the ORC Regional Plan: Water have been updated, which means in most cases consent will now be needed for both effluent storage facilities and discharging effluent to land. 

Depending on the set-up of the system, and what you are proposing to do, further consents may be necessary (e.g., components of an effluent system: weeping wall, stone trap, sump).

The rules apply now for new and existing animal waste storage. More information can be found on our fact sheets, or in our media release.

View a fact sheet about effluent
View a fact sheet about effluent storage consents
View a fact sheet about rules, definitions and timelines for effluent

All new ponds and tanks will generally require resource consent before they are constructed. Some smaller structures that are not used for storage will not need consent. As well as consent for your storage, you will also need consent to discharge effluent to land.

Existing effluent storage constructed prior to 25 March 2020 that does not meet the permitted criteria is temporarily permitted with an application for consent not needing to be lodged until at least 4 June 2023 or until a later date for some systems. However, farmers are encouraged to apply now or to start thinking about their storage system.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are wintering barns considered to be animal waste systems?

Yes, if they involve the collection, storage and conveyance of animal waste.

How should I determine how much storage my storage pond should have?

For calculating when the rules apply to you and your system, please use the Implementation calculator at the bottom of this webpage. For calculating the 90th percentile of storage as a condition of consent, please use the Dairy Effluent Storage Calculator.

When you apply for consent, you will need to provide information on volumes to ensure the structure is going to be big enough to store the volume of effluent generated on your farm. You may need to engage a suitably qualified professional to provide the information to support your consent application.


Animal effluent calculator


1. Daily waste volume (m3):

2. Minimum number of days of storage available:

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