Guidance

Waste exemption: S3 storing sludge

This exemption allows you to store sewage sludge at a place where it’s to be used in accordance with the Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations 1989.

Types of activity you can carry out

These include:

  • storing sewage sludge at a farm before it’s spread on land
  • storing septic tank sludge before it’s spread on land

Types of activity you can’t carry out

You can’t:

  • store waste within a zone defined by a 50 day travel time for groundwater to reach a groundwater abstraction that is used to supply water for homes or producing food (this is known as a Source Protection Zone 1)
  • store waste under this exemption where it’s to be used at another place
  • store waste where it’s not going to be used in accordance with the Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations 1989
  • store waste within 0.3 metres of the top of an open storage container or within 0.75 metres of the top of an earthbank tank or lagoon

Types of waste you can store

The waste codes are those listed in the List of Wastes (LoW) Regulations. You need to make sure your waste fits within the relevant waste code and description.

Waste code Type of waste
190805 residual sludge from sewage plants treating domestic or urban waste waters
200304 residual sludge from septic tanks and other similar installations for the treatment of sewage only

Quantity of waste you can store

You can:

  • store up to 1,250 tonnes of waste at any one time
  • store waste for up to 12 months before using it

Key conditions

The waste must be stored at least:

  • 10 metres from any watercourse
  • 50 metres from any spring or well, or from any borehole not used to supply water for homes or producing food
  • 250 metres from any borehole used to supply water for homes or producing food

The waste must be stored in a secure location at the place where it’s to be used.

What else you need to know

You must use the sludge in accordance with the Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations 1989.

Please see the Environment Agency guidance on managing sewage sludge, slurry and silage.

Register a S3 exemption

You need to register this exemption with us if you will meet the requirements:

Published 28 April 2014