NZ Dairy Autumn 2022

| 103 nzdairy DAIRY SERVICES » Clean Green Effluent Co Medium Herd System (above). Weeping Wall Solids Retention (inset). Virginia Wright It was about 15 years ago that Lindsay Lewis’ neighbour Mark Hamill decided to convert his sheep and beef operation in Southland into a dairy farm. Lindsay is a third generation Jersey breeder with an electrician’s certificate who spent his time tinkering with machinery and had owned a pump shop for many years. When Mark Hamill was asking him about what sort of effluent system to put in he ran what he called his “crazy idea” past him, assuring him that it should work perfectly. “He said that makes 100 percent good common sense, so let’s do it, and that’s what we did….it worked perfectly,” says Lindsay. Lindsay had been appalled that dairy farmers had no options other than travelling irrigators and big ponds as their effluent solution. “That whole system is highly visible to the public and leads to their perception that dairy farms are dirty and everything stinks,” says Lindsay. “It’s highly environmentally unfriendly, and the plants, or pasture, cannot readily accept effluent at those anaerobic levels, so we needed to find a way to put it out there at a level that was safe, didn’t smell, and that the plants could accept straight away.” He had a very good idea for an alternative. There are three defining features in the patented Clean Green Effluent system that set it apart from a travelling irrigator, according to Lindsay, the most important being one of volume. “Our distribution system allows us to put out up to a maximum of 0.25 millimetres, that’s less than a quarter of a millimetre, a day, of application depth (that’s the thickness of liquid effluent application on the surface of the ground once you’ve finished applying it). A standard travelling irrigator does 15 to 25 millimetres in one 20 minute pass.” Sitting behind the distribution are the twin concepts of putting out all the effluent that the farmer generates every day, and distributing that effluent in a sufficiently minute application rate that the plant/pasture can readily ingest. “Then you need no storage,” says Lindsay. “It means you have no nitrate leaching, you have no emissions and you have up to 35% better grass growth in your effluent paddocks.” The greenwash system that can now legally be used to wash external yards is central to everything. The automated system takes the water use per cow from 50 to 70 litres per cow down to more like 20 litres: the effluent gets filtered to a standard where it holds less than two parts per million of solids and 3rd gen breeder and electrician then it can be used again for washing the external yard. The Clean Green Effluent system retains the solids in their filter unit (to be distributed back onto the farm annually), having passed the effluent through their patented weeping wall which pulls a much larger percentage of the NPK out of the effluent than more traditional designs. It then goes out fresh onto the paddocks. “I’m the only one that AgResearch have deemed to be a low rate, low depth system,” says Lindsay, “that allows plants to absorb all the nutrients on a daily basis.” Because it’s a relatively clean product having had 99.9% of the solids removed it can be distributed using low horsepower, big output pumps. The lime-green plastic pod-based distribution system is made fit-for-purpose by RX Plastics in Ashburton and taken to wherever the turn-key system is being installed. Because while their head office is in Invercargill their clean green effluent systems have been installed all over the country. “We’ve just finished one in the Wairarapa, we’re working on one in Southland we’ve got one to do in Taranaki in May and one in Whangarei in June,” says Lindsay, with a hint of pride in his voice. And once you know what to look for the lime green pods are easy to spot. “I’m the only one that AgResearch have deemed to be a low rate, low depth system.” DOMESTIC INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURAL For pumps that offer excellence in both performance and construction EUROPEAN ENGINEERED EXCELLENCE … the spring of life For all your Building Supplies Visit us at 62 Clyde Street, Invercargill T: 03 218 3787 E: PROUD TO SUPPORT CLEAN GREEN EFFLUENT COMPANY 135 Gala Street Pleased to be supporting Clean Green Effluent Company Talk to us today about your Switchboard, Switchgear, and Automation requirements e-mail: web: POWERING UP Clean Green Effluent Company