RP13: Yard - underground drainage pipework

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the yard - underground drainage pipework item.

How much will be paid

£5.50 per 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

  • on covered or indoor yards
  • on environmental, historic or archaeological features identified on the Farm Environment Record (FER), the Environmental Information Map or the HEFER
  • without relevant advice, consents or permissions from the Environment Agency (EA), or Local Planning Authority

How this item will benefit the environment

This item will improve existing outdoor yards to reduce the risk of runoff and water pollution.


  • install 100mm or 150mm (internal diameter) drains
  • excavate trenches that are at least the width of the pipe’s outside diameter plus 300mm
  • lay pipes on clay or sand that is at least 100mm thick
  • to avoid settlement of solids or semi-solid material in dirty water drains, lay pipes to a fall of:

    • no less than 1 in 60 for 100mm internal diameter pipes
    • no less than 1 in 100 for 150mm internal diameter pipes
  • place inspection pits at no more than 90m apart in straight lines
  • use only uPVC pipes with sealed joints, and jointed according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • when the pipe is laid, backfill to at least:

    • 600mm in areas without traffic
    • 900mm in areas with traffic
  • use compacted excavated material such as smooth stone, clay or sandy soil for backfill and remove any surplus
  • where it is not possible to backfill to 600mm or 900mm in areas with traffic then the pipes must be wrapped in plastic sheeting and encased in at least 150mm of concrete
  • 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
  • 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 Local Planning Authority to check if consent is required to carry out the planned work. Applicants will have to send the following with their application:

  • a copy of any advice or consent received from the EA and Local Planning Authority (where relevant)
  • photographs of the existing site
  • 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.

The existing uncovered yards should be made from:

  • concrete
  • hard core
  • tarmac
  • bare earth

Further information

The Rivers Trust has further guidance on dirty water separation.

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 10 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated for 2017 applications.
  2. Information updated for applications in 2016
  3. First published.