Farmers urged to check silage stores in pollution spate

Natural Resources Wales is urging farmers in Carmarthenshire to check their silage stores following a spate of pollution incidents in the area caused by silage effluent.

In the last week alone, environment officers have attended three pollution incidents where silage effluent had leaked into the river from nearby farms.

The recent increase in incidents is likely to be a result of the wet weather while taking the first cut, causing wet silage to go into stores and leading to a larger volume of effluent being produced.

Silage effluent is a very strong pollutant and should be fully contained within a dedicated tank or within a farm slurry storage system.

If stores overflow it can easily leak and find its way into rivers and streams.

As well as affecting water quality, it removes oxygen from the water, impacting on fish and other river life.

Jon Willington, Environment Management team leader at Natural Resources Wales said:

“We’re urging all farmers to check their silage stores for over spills and leaks to make sure that no effluent is inadvertently escaping from the farm.

“We understand that it’s been another difficult spring for silage making for many farmers but our officers can provide help and advice about how to reduce the risks of pollution.

“Low cost, temporary measures can often be effective in controlling silage effluent in the short-term and we can advise on these as well as on more permanent solutions that meet legal requirements.”

Anyone concerned about pollution in their local river should report it via the Natural Resources Wales incident hotline on 0800 807060.

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