Waste water gets colourful2 March 2017
Prince sang about Purple Rain, but when it comes to plumbing, purple is more commonly associated with waste waster. And that’s one of the reasons why Masterton District Council is now having its baleage wrapped in purple plastic.
The bales have been created from crops irrigated with Masterton’s treated waste water and they have been wrapped in purple to distinguish them from other baleage. The reason behind the new colour scheme is important because Fonterra does not take milk from farms whose lactating cows have been fed from crops irrigated with human waste water. The mauve wrap will mean it will be clear that these bales are not for a milking dairy.
A Fonterra spokesman endorsed the concept by the Masterton council.
“What they’re doing is good and lines up with our requirements to clearly identify and trace feed not suitable for feeding to lactating animals.” The success of this initiative has seen a proposal for it to be rolled out New Zealand wide, and has been supported unanimously by around 50 municipal councils.
In three years of tracing quality of baleage produced on the farm, the nutrient content and palatability has improved to sit within the ideal range across all parameters. This demonstrates the high potential of feed to prospective buyers.
The colour coding system will be implemented across further councils to demonstrate its success. Kevin Godfrey, council water and waste manager, hopes that this evidence will enable it to become a New Zealand wide standard.