RP17: Storage tanks underground

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the storage tanks underground item.

How much will be paid

£350 per cubic metre.

Where to use this item

Available for Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier, Higher Tier and Capital Grants.


  • 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

  • without relevant advice or permission from the Local Planning Authority
  • on historic or archaeological features

How this item will benefit the environment

The underground storage tank will collect and contain rainwater and help to keep clean and dirty water separate. This will provide free clean water, which may be suitable to use for a number of tasks around the farm such as yard washing, instead of wasting potable water supplies.


  • agree with a CSF officer where to install the tank and pump
  • follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing the tank and pump
  • use tanks made from either glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) or pre-cast concrete
  • backfill with concrete to cover the tank and make good
  • ensure that all work meets relevant British Standards - examine copies of the most up-to-date standards for guidance

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 relevant manual Mid Tier, Higher Tier or Capital Grants for more detail.

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

  • photographs of the completed work

Before applying, applicants must seek advice from the Local Planning Authority to check if consent is required to carry out the planned work. 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.

Installing the storage tank

The work normally includes:

  • installing the tank and pump
  • a site excavation
  • creating a hardstanding or concrete base for the tank
  • installing connecting pipework

Water management

Throughout the work make sure that foul or dirty water does not contaminate the clean water collected.

Applicants must also check if restrictions apply to using harvested rainwater in your supply chain. Contact the farm assurance scheme and purchasers of produce.

High water table

These tanks are not suitable in ground with a high water table unless further structural work is undertaken to prevent such tanks from floating. Seek advice from the manufacturer.

Historic and archaeological features

  • get listed building consent if used close to a historic farmstead or listed building, as this option may have negative effects on it
  • consider the effect of the option on the fabric and setting of the historic buildings, as well as the nature and historic value of the existing surfaces

Dirty water

This item is not intended to be used for collecting dirty water, effluents and slurries.

Further information

Read more on:

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

Read more information about Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier, Higher Tier or Capital Grants to find out more about the scheme and how to apply.

Published 2 April 2015
Last updated 9 February 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added in links to Capital Grants manual as this option is now available for Capital Grants

  2. Information updated for applications in 2016

  3. First published.