Water grants 2015: storage tanks - underground (RP17)

Eligibility and requirements for underground storage tanks.

This guidance was withdrawn on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

You’ll get £350 per cubic metre.

Where the item is available

This item can be used:

  • to collect and store harvested rainwater; and
  • only in areas targeted for the reduction of water pollution caused by agriculture.

How this option will benefit the environment

This item will collect and contain clean rainwater. This helps separate clean and dirty water and means free clean water can be used around the yard, rather than wasting potable water supplies.

If successful, this item will lead to:

  • rainwater collected from roofs and buildings stored for use around the farm; and
  • rainwater used for cleaning farmyards or 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:

  • follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing the tank and pump;
  • use tanks made from either glass-reinforced plastic or pre-cast concrete;
  • backfill with concrete to cover the tank and make good; and
  • make sure that the work meets relevant British Standards – check copies of the most up-to-date standards.

Keeping records

Successful applicants will need to keep:

  • dated photographs of the site before and after the work has taken place (submit these with any claims and show them on request);
  • receipted invoices and bank statements relating to this work;
  • copies of photographs submitted with their application; and
  • permits or consents submitted with their application.

How to carry out this item

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

Carry out the work

The work normally includes:

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

Water management

Throughout the work, every effort should be made so that foul or dirty water does not contaminate the clean water collected.

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.

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.

If unsure, it is advisable to seek advice from the manufacturer.

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;
  • 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;
  • avoid sites of archaeological or historic importance and have consents such as Scheduled Monument consent from English Heritage before carrying out the work; and
  • consider visual intrusion and effects on landscape character particularly in designated landscapes or historic parkland

Dirty water

This item can’t be used for collecting dirty water, effluents and slurries.

The following items and supplements may be used on the same area as this item:

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