Environment

Dairy farm stink saga reaches sweet solution

  • Valter and Lidia Medeiros (File photograph)

An Irish company is to install an aeration system in the slurry pit of a farm at the centre of a row over bad smells and pests.

Green Land Dairy Farm in Smith’s said Dairy Power Equipment had been recruited to install a new system in its manure pit in an attempt to cut down on foul odours, which have annoyed neighbours.

Lidia Medeiros, who runs the farm with husband, Valter, said she was confident the new system would solve the problem.

She added: “According to the engineers, this is what the farm needs. We are in the process of finding out lead times.

“They are coming from Ireland and they have all the dimensions. The application for planning is in and we are waiting.”

Ms Medeiros said: “It is an aeration system that will be built into the pit. There will be a top on the pit, but it will not be completely sealed — you can’t seal it because it is toxic and is explosive.

“The system is supposed to eliminate 50 to 60 per cent of the odour.”

Ms Medeiros admitted: “It will never take away the smell of the farm, but it will minimise the odour coming from the pit.

“We are very happy with the engineer and how he came up with that system.

“It is a better system and is fairly cost effective. It may take a few months. It could be less, but I can’t say for sure.”

The couple were ordered by the Government to come up with a solution to the smell problem by June 30.

The deadline was imposed after 500 complaints about the stink from the manure pit, which residents said had caused infestations of flies, rats and pigeons in the area.

A government spokeswoman said that the Department of Health and the Department of Planning had a revised planning application, which was being reviewed.

The pit was built to hold manure and urine from the farm’s 100-plus cattle.

Nearby householders have complained about problems with the farm for more than two years and threatened legal action if the deadline was not met.

Allan Pelvang, who lives near the farm, said he was pleased by the news. But he added: “The proof is in the pudding. We are excited that something is happening. When it is all operational, it will be a case of testing whether it is effective.

“No one expects there to be no farm smell, but we are looking for a material improvement.”