Water Quality Rules, plan Change 6A was approved on 26 March 2014 by the Otago Regional Council (ORC). This plan change made provision for controlling contaminants and sediment coming off rural properties into waterways from runoff, leaching and drains (non-point sources). The plan also provides threshold limits for 4 water quality parameters (e.coli, DRP, NNN & NH4N).
Regular testing of tile drains, drains or streams on your property can help determine what affect your farming practices are having on the environment and allow you to access if you are operating within the threshold limits. Threshold limits vary across the region depending on the catchment , refer to the ORC website for the appropriate threshold value for your catchment.
Taking a Sample:
When taking the sample , it's very important to follow the instructions provided, especially for the E.Coli test. This requires a sterile container (square plastic 400ml) and for the sample to be collected aseptically to make sure no contamination occurs. Also note we need the samples back within 24 hours and less than 10°C. For clients not within easy driving distance of the laboratory we suggest taking the sample in the early afternoon and sending it overnight to the laboratory.
Sampling equipment :
Request an Otago Surface Water Kit from the laboratory. It contains sampling instructions, an analysis request form, pre-paid return courier tickets and 2 sample containers which are required for the one test, i.e. both containers should be filled from the same sampling point, not 2 different sites.