Using EM for Effluent

The use of EM in effluent ponds is primarily targeted at creating a balanced microbial environment which supresses negative and promotes beneficial organisms. EM consists of mixed cultures of beneficial and natural occurring microorganisms that can be applied as inoculants to increase the microbial diversity of your effluent pond.

The microorganisms in EM have a “reviving action” on systems and are completely safe to use. In effluent ponds EM works by processing the carbon source in the pond, eliminating harmful pathogens and stimulating the existing microbial population, thereby improving the decomposition of effluent.

Common Effluent Problems

  • Thick and persistent crusting of pond surface
  • Anaerobic environment below the surface crust
  • Reduction in breakdown of organic matter
  • Increase in bad bacteria and pathogens
  • Foul odour
  • Increased sludge
  • Increase in rate at which pond needs to be cleaned out

Benefits of using EM in your Effluent

EM is an organic certified product which is safe to use and has many benefits in controlling effluent, including:

  • Reduction in odour levels
  • Reduction in sludge see appendix table 2
  • Reduction in organic matter
  • Improved pond biology and function
  • Compete against harmful pathogens in effluent and application sites
  • Inoculates pond with beneficial microbes   
  • Decrease in Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) see appendix table 1
  • Decrease in Total Soluble Solids (TSS) see appendix table 2
  • Decreasing surface crust

This EM treated effluent can then be maximised as a plant and soil nutrient agent increasing soil biology and helping to increase pasture growth. EM in its own right is an effective organic fertiliser driving organic matter recycling, building humus - the food for your soil and plants, improving nitrogen fixation and increasing micorrhyzal activity, which leads to more effective nutrient availability.

Effluent Treatment Process

EM has both aerobic and anaerobic microbes this is important because most ponds have both aerobic and anaerobic zones. The anaerobic zone of a pond is often at the bottom where solids accumulate into dead matter with limited microbial activity. Eventually this dead matter builds up restricting the capacity of the pond and needs to be dug out.  By Using our Effluent treatment this can be avoided and the pond can be revived, returning it to a positive function pond and providing your farm with quality natural fertiliser.

Initial Shock dose

The purpose of this dose is to inoculate the effluent pond with millions of beneficial bacteria to stimulate the existing microbial population to enhance the decomposition of the effluent. The shock dose will transform the pond into a more positive system enhancing the function of the pond.

Maintenance dose

This is designed to keep the pond active and enhancing the processing function of the pond. By regular inoculation of EM the beneficial microbes maintain dominance and outcompete negative and pathogen forming microbes.


Phase 1: Initial dose into the pond. At this point there is a high volume of solids and crusting. Solids are settling on the base on the pond creating inorganic matter. EM inoculates the pond and starts to breakdown both the organic and inorganic matter with its combination of aerobic and anaerobic microbes.

Phase 2: Pond microbial make up is transformed into a positive functioning aerobic pond breaking down inorganic matter at the bottom of the pond reducing the crusting on the surface and reducing solid material at base of pond.

Phase 3: Odour, Solids and Crusting are further reduced and effluent more liquid. Incoming effluent is broken down quickly and efficiently and pond functions positively

Application Rates

Initial Application

Anywhere from 100-300 Litres of EM Ready to Use*

*Application rates depend on a number of factors including pond and herd size for a more detailed quote for your effluent pond please call emnz today.

On-Going Management – Milking Season

35-70 Litres of EM Ready to Use per week.

Please note: Costs can be decreased by expanding our EM concentrate to create EM RTU yourself. This will usually halve the cost from $3-$4 per litre to $1-$2 per litre. For more about expanding EM click here.

Cost can also be offset by EM’s ability improve fertiliser use, reduced or eliminated cost of de-sludging and improved pasture growth.

Effluent Gallery

EM1 Concentrate

EM1 Concentrate is the original and authentic Effective Microorganisms that was originally formulated by Dr. Teruo Higa. EM1 is an all-natural probiotic for plants and soils. EM1 Concentrate is a natural, safe technology with many applications around the Garden, Farm, Vineyard and Environment. A certified organic input, EM1 Concentrate can be expanded by the user to increase the product volume 20 fold, making it a low cost microbial input.

From $29.00

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EM Amino

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EM Fulvic Acid

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