allegrow rural environmental logo
allegrow rural environmental logo

Bucket Tests

One of the first steps in renewing your dairy effluent discharge consent is gaining an understanding of the capabilities of your current system including your effluent irrigator(s).

New dairy effluent discharge consents can be quite different to what has been issued in the past, but both contain limits regarding how much effluent you can discharge to land in order to avoid over-application. This is reported in an application depth and/or rate condition. To test what depth/rate your irrigator is applying the effluent at, a bucket test should be undertaken.

DairyNZ has comprehensive instructions on how to undertake a bucket test. The test involves buckets or containers being laid out to capture effluent as the irrigator passes. Measurements of the effluent in each of the buckets is reported as well as the time taken to pass the row of buckets.  This data is then used to calculate the average application depth and rate per hour and is included as part of your consent. This test also helps inform you on how evenly the effluent is being dispersed.

It is recommended that the irrigator is checked, and any maintenance needed is undertaken, before you do the bucket test as issues such as worn nozzles can significantly affect the irrigator’s performance

New resource consent conditions usually require this bucket test to be repeated on a regular basis, so it is beneficial to get familiar with how to do one. It is important that you don’t put off renewing your dairy effluent discharge consent as the resource consent application must be lodged with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council at least three months prior to the expiry date.

For more information on this, feel free to give us a call to discuss further.

Sue Clark

Environmental Consultant