RP27: Sprayer or applicator load and washdown area

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the sprayer or applicator load and washdown area item.

How much will be paid

£40 per square metre.

Where to use this item

Available for Mid Tier and Higher Tier


  • in areas targeted for the reduction of water pollution from agriculture
  • with support from a Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) officer

Where this item cannot be used

  • within 10m of a watercourse
  • within 50m of a spring, borehole or well
  • within 250m of a borehole used to supply water for producing domestic food without relevant advice from the Environment Agency (EA)
  • on historic or archaeological features or areas of wildlife value identified on the Farm Environmental Record (FER), the Environmental Information Map or the HEFER

How this item will benefit the environment

This item will contain and collect washings from sprayers or applicators. These will then be degraded in a biofilter or biobed, which will help reduce the risk of water pollution.


Keeping records

Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them on request:

  • any consents or permissions connected with the work
  • receipted invoices, or bank statements where a receipted invoice is unavailable
  • photographs of site before works start
  • please see the record keeping and inspection requirements as set out in the Mid Tier manual for more detail

Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them with the claim:

  • photographs of the site during the different stages of construction or contracts, invoices or other documents confirming the technical specification for the completed works
  • photographs of the completed works in place and installed

Before applying, applicants must seek advice from the EA and obtain any consent that may be required to carry out the planned work. Applicants must check whether they are in a Groundwater Source Protection Zone 1 area with EA. You do not need to provide this with your application, but you will need to submit consents or permissions with your payment claim. Applicants will have to send the following with their application:

  • written support from a CSF officer

This item can be used on the same area as the following items:

Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this item

The following section gives advice on carrying out this item successfully but does not form part of the requirements for this item.

How to get further design advice

Further design advice is available on how to size the loading and washdown area and holding tanks and on pesticide washing volume calculations, from Catchment Sensitive Farming and in the Biobed Manual on the Voluntary Initiative website.

How to choose a location

The item should be constructed in an area set aside for pesticide loading and washing operations where there is no other traffic.

It can be constructed on the same area as the following features, even though they are ineligible for the Basic Payment Scheme:

  • farmyards
  • areas of land, or farm buildings, not used for production

What to do with pesticide washings

The pesticide washings collected in the holding tank should be pumped before the tank reaches capacity using a pump float switch.To dispose of the washings transfer them to a biobed or biofilter for treatment (a T32 waste exemption will be required for this). Alternatively, pesticide washings can be disposed of via a registered waste carrier to a suitably permitted disposal site or to a permitted area approved by the Environment Agency on the farm.

How to main the slab, bund and pumps

The concrete slab and bund regularly and repair any damage or deterioration. The pumps will also need to be checked regularly to make sure they are operating properly.

Also ensure that:

  • the area is not used for any purpose other than pesticide handling operations
  • the concrete in not damaged so that the area becomes impermeable
  • the storage tank does not overflow

Further information

More information about pesticide handling areas, biobeds and biofilters, including sizing and volume calculations, is available from the Voluntary Initiative.

Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) operates in parts of the country where there are water quality issues linked to farming. The scheme provides farmers with free advice and training. See guidance for further information on CSF support.

See the Mid Tier manual or Higher Tier manual to find out more about the scheme and how to apply.

Published 2 April 2015
Last updated 29 March 2016 + show all updates
  1. Information updated for applications in 2016
  2. First published.