Visual inspections are also carried out annually on farms that do not have resource consent. The treatment/disposal system is graded on a scale of 1P to 4P, with a "1P" being a good system with no work required (fully compliant), and "4P" indicating an unsatisfactory system which needs urgent or major work (significant non-compliance). The system can also be graded as "C", which means resource consent is required, or "X" which indicates a prohibited activity is occurring.
Of the farms inspected in 2005-06, 187 met the criteria for the ‘permitted activity' rule (includes grades 1P to 3P), while 58 discharged treated effluent to water and required resource consent or a system upgrade. A further 40 farms discharged untreated effluent to water, which were prohibited activities.
Similarly to the consented discharges, NRC staff carried out follow up visits on all farms with significantly non-compliant (grades 4P, C or X) treatment/disposal systems and formal enforcement action was taken where required.
The table below shows all the gradings for non-consented farms monitored.
During 2005-06, 66 infringement notices, which involve a $750 fine, and 99 abatement notices were issued for non complying systems (includes both consented and non-consented farms).