Water grants 2015: first flush rainwater diverters and downpipe filters (RP19)

Eligibility and requirements for first flush rainwater diverters and downpipe filters.

This guidance was withdrawn on

Capital items for improving water quality are now available through the Mid Tier of Countryside Stewardship.

Farmers and other land managers can apply for water grants.

Read the accompanying guidance to find out more about Countryside Stewardship water grants 2015.

How much will be paid

£125 per unit.

Where the item is available

This item can be used:

  • with a rainwater harvesting system; and
  • is available in Catchment Sensitive Farming target areas.

How this item will benefit the environment

This item diverts and filters potentially contaminated roof water to keep leaves, debris and other contaminants out of diverters, clean water drains and water storage tanks.

If successful, this item will lead to:

  • contaminated water diverted from tanks, reducing tank maintenance and protecting pumps; and
  • the collected rainwater used for tasks such as yard cleaning or for washing farm machinery.


Applicants must send dated photographs of the existing site with their application for this item.

Check with the local planning authority to find out if planning consent is needed. Submit a copy of any planning advice, together with a copy of any consent, with the application.

With permission from Natural England, advice and consent can be received up until 29 May 2015; applicants can discuss this with their local Catchment Sensitive Farming officer.

On the land

Successful applicants will need to:

  • install individual rainwater diverters and filters, wall-mounted diverters or stand-alone diverters (depending on the volumes to be treated) according to the manufacturer’s guidelines; and
  • make sure that contaminated water doesn’t enter a clean water drain or discharge to ditches or watercourses.

Make sure that the work meets relevant British Standards – check the most up-to-date standards.

Keeping records

Successful applicants will need to keep:

  • dated photographs of the site, including ones submitted with their application (submit these with any claim and show them on request);
  • receipted invoices and bank statements relating to this work; and
  • any permits submitted with the application, e.g. listed building consent or planning permission

How to carry out this item

The following section gives advice on carrying out this item successfully.

Improve water quality

Successful applicants should:

  • collect rainwater from roofs and buildings and use it for tasks around the farm such as yard washing – fitting a first flush rainwater diverter is critical to good quality water;
  • know that water diverters improve water quality, reduce tank maintenance and protect pumps by preventing the first flush of water, which may contain contaminants from the roof, from entering the tank; and
  • use downpipe filters to keep leaves, debris and other contaminants out of diverters, clean water drains and water storage tanks. The work includes the supply and installation of downpipe filters.

Applicants should also check if restrictions apply to using harvested rainwater in their supply chain e.g. any farm assurance scheme or the purchasers of their produce.

Historic and archaeological features

Successful applicants should:

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

This item can be used on the same area as the following options and supplements:

Further information

Follow this simple guide from the Environment Agency on implementing a water management plan.

Follow this guide to find out about the effective use of water on dairy farms.

Published 2 March 2015