Rule 12 Application of fertiliser
The discharge of fertiliser onto or into land is a Permitted Activity provided:
(a) the discharge shall not cause noxious or objectionable effects on water.
Explanation. Fertiliser is defined in section 3 of the Plan as “any substance that is suitable for sustaining or increasing the growth, productivity or quality of plants by the provision of essential nutrients, provided the substance is free from human faecal matter and any pathogens.” This means that this rule does not apply to discharges of human sewage in any form, or to animal effluent unless that effluent is completely free of pathogens. Discharges of human sewage are provided for in Rules 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Discharges of agricultural effluent are provided for in Rule 13.
In the context of the condition on Rule 12, “noxious or objectionable effects” includes adverse effects on water which are noxious or objectionable because of increased nitrate concentrations in groundwater or undesirable biological growths in surface water. Following the best practice guidelines identified in the Code of Practice for Fertiliser Use (1998) prepared by the New Zealand Fertiliser Manufacturers’ Research Association would ensure that the condition is met.
In areas where fertiliser application could cause adverse effects the Council will provide people with information about more efficient and effective means of using fertiliser (see method 6.3.10). In accordance with Policy 4.2.22, the Council will be encouraging adherence to relevant codes of practice, in particular, the Code of Practice for Fertiliser Use (1998) prepared by the New Zealand Fertiliser Manufacturers’ Research Association.
Groundwater monitoring shows that there are some areas of the Region where nitrate contamination of groundwater is increasing, and where levels are already significant. The Council is carrying out further investigations and monitoring to determine the contributing sources of nitrate contamination of groundwater in the Kapiti Coast and the Wairarapa. Information gained from these investigations will be used when the Plan is reviewed in 10 years, or earlier, if necessary. If the provision of information about fertiliser use is not sufficient to avoid or mitigate the effects of the activity, a more regulatory approach as taken with other discharges may be needed.