Effluent Bladders: Stephen’s Simple Storage Solution

Stephen knows that any investment is worth researching if you want the right results. This proved true when his dairy farm needed additional effluent storage…


Stephen Trenberth owns two dairy farms in Galatea, Bay of Plenty. Effluent is managed by pumping directly to pasture from a sump. Having free-draining soils, there are rarely times effluent can't be spread throughout the year. However a small amount of additional storage was needed for times where deferred irrigation was necessary. So Stephen began searching for someone that can advise on his best options for deferred irrigation storage, while ensuring he is compliant with council regulations.


After thorough research, Stephen reached out to Nevada for help. Mike visited the farm learn more about it and what Stephen wanted to achieve. He did some storage calculations and suggested two options:


  1. Stephen could install a lined effluent pond. This would remove the need for the sump and simply create one larger storage area. However, the ideal site and size of the pond would require significant work due to other infrastructure already in place.

  2. He could install a 300 cubic metre effluent bladder tank. Effluent would be pumped to the bladder once the sump reached a certain capacity.


Stephen liked the idea of the bladder.

  • ‘I liked that it would be easy to install and cause minimal disruption to the farm. I’ve got a contract milkers that manage the farm and I wanted something that would be easy to operate.’
    Stephen Trenberth
    Dairy Farmer
Stephen Trenberth Effluent Bladder

Once Stephen had decided on the effluent bladder option, Mike assisted him through the consent process (consent is not always required for effluent bladders, this depends on the local council).

  • ‘Mike’s been great. He made the whole process simple and easy, including pushing back on a few things.’

Stephen decided to install a second stone trap to ensure no unwanted debris are making their way into the bladder. The original pump will still be used for irrigation, however a second pump with a float switch got installed which will trigger to pump effluent from the sump to the effluent bladder once the sump is 3/4 full.


Stephen's decision to install the effluent bladder tank proved to be a smart one. Not only did it provide him with the additional storage he needed, but it also ensured compliance with council regulations.

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