Water grants 2015: sprayer or applicator load and washdown area (RP27)

Eligibility and requirements for sprayer or applicator load and washdown area.

This guidance was withdrawn on

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

Applies to England

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

£40 per square metre.

Where the item is available

This item is available in Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) target areas.

When you can’t use this item

It can’t be used:

  • within 10m of a watercourse;
  • within 50m of a spring, borehole or well;
  • within 250m of a borehole used for food production; or
  • on historic or archaeological features or areas of wildlife value.

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 prevent pesticides from entering drains or water bodies.


Applicants must send the following with their application for this item:

If the site is in a Groundwater Source Protection Zone 1 area, applicants must consult the Environment Agency about using this item.

Applicants must send any advice and consent they receive with their 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 a new bunded concrete loading area, holding tanks, and any fixed pumps and pipework needed to remove washings from the installed holding tank;
  • make sure that the structure is impermeable;
  • remove topsoil and dig an area for the wash-down area and tank;
  • remove and divert any field drains that cross the site;
  • cover the site that’s been dug out with 140mm to 160mm of well compacted hardcore and at least 25mm of sand blinding;
  • lay a damp-proof membrane that weighs at least 1200g;
  • lay a reinforced concrete slab at least 150mm thick to a fall of at least 1:100;
  • construct a concrete bund around the perimeter of the slab, sealing all concrete joints with a proprietary sealant;
  • make sure the surrounding bund is at least 100mm high to contain liquids;
  • make sure the width and length of the bunded area is at least the sprayer transport width plus 2m, and the sprayer length plus 1.5m;
  • install a slotted, cover-type drain on the bunded concrete slab and connect it to a silt trap with a removable cover and a nominal capacity of 250mm below the inlet;
  • alternatively, lay the concrete so that it slopes 4 ways to a drain at the centre of the slab - note that the drain must contain a silt trap;
  • direct the drain with a silt trap to a tank or chamber (of a maximum size of 1500 litres) where it can be pumped and the pesticide washings disposed of;
  • make sure the storage or holding tank is made from seamless polyethylene, glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) or pre-cast concrete; and
  • make sure the size of the storage or holding tank suits local rainfall levels and the size of the concrete area (if the tank has no roof or cover).

All capital works must meet the relevant British Standards.

Keeping records

Successful applicants will need to keep:

  • dated photographs taken before, during and after the works (submit these with any claim and show them on request);
  • the documents relating to waste exemption T32 (sent with the application);
  • any consents received in connection with the work (show these on request); and
  • receipted invoices and bank statements relating to this work.

What must not be done

Successful applicants must not:

  • use the area for any other purpose other than pesticide handling operations;
  • damage the concrete so that the area is impermeable; or
  • allow the storage tank to overflow.

How to carry out this item

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

How to get advice on the design of the works

Successful applicants should seek advice from specialists on sizing the loading and washdown area and tank, and on calculating pesticide washing volumes.

How to choose a location

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

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

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

How to operate the storage tank

The pesticide washings collected in the storage tank should be pumped (using the pump’s float switch) before the tank reaches maximum capacity. The pesticide washings should then be treated in a biobed or biofilter, or dispose of them as waste (a T32 exemption will be needed for this).

How to maintain the area

The concrete pad and bund should be checked regularly. They should be repaired if they’re damaged or if they’ve deteriorated. The pumps should be checked to make sure they’re operating properly and are pumping when the tanks are at the correct level.

How to spread the biomix

Waste exemption U10 will be needed to spread the biomix.

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

Published 2 March 2015