ARCHIVE: Water Code - The 1998 Code of Good Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Water (PB0587)

ARCHIVE: The Code of Good Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Water



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Note: This code has now been replaced by the combined
Water, Soil and Air Code 2009



1. Introduction

About this Code
Minimising waste
Water pollution problems
Diffuse pollution
Soil erosion
Responsibilities of farmers and contractors
Emergency actions

2. Laws Controlling Pollution

Water pollution - general
Storage and handling of agricultural wastes
Application of wastes to land
Planning legislation

3. Farm Waste Management Planning

Planning stages
First stage Areas where waste should not be spread at any time.
Second stage Matching land to nitrogen in waste.
Third stage Estimating the risk of pollution spreading.
Fourth stage Assessing possible need for extra storage.
Fifth stage (a) Choosing the size of storage facilities.
Fifth stage (b) Design & choosing the site of storage facilities.

 4. Slurries


Storage:General rules
Under-floor storage and transfer channels
Below ground tanks and reception pits

Above ground circular stores
Using & maintaining

Weeping wall slurry stores
Using and maintaining

Earth banked stores
Working out a size
Layout of the earth banked store
Lagoons for liquid storage
Design of earth-banked store
Using and maintaining

Treating slurry: Mechanical separation
Designing the mechanical separation system
Using and maintaining

Ways of applying slurry to the land

5. Dirty Water

Minimising quantities of dirty water

Choosing a system to dispose of dirty water to land
Treatment systems
Discharging to sewer

Low rate irrigation: the suitability of a site
Design of the system

Managing irrigation systems: Introduction
General management
Travelling irrigators

6. Solid Manures

Manure stores
Applying the waste to the land

7. Other Organic Wastes

Sewage sludges
Septic tank and cesspool wastes
Milk & dairy waste
Effluent from by-products used to feed animals
Wastes from vegetable processing
Wastes from animal processing

8. Silage Effluent

Amounts of effluent
Design of the silo
Control measures
Baled silage
Field silage
Applying effluent to land
Feeding effluent to livestock
Silage additives

9. Fertilisers

Storing and handling liquids

10. Fuel Oil

Design of storage facilities
Using and maintaining the store
Waste oils

11. Sheep Dip

Designing facilities
Disposing of used dip
Containers and unwanted concentrate

12. Pesticides

Introduction: Storing pesticides
Applying pesticides near water
Laws on disposal of waste pesticides
Minimising waste pesticide
Disposal of waste concentrate
Disposal of dilute wastes and washings
Disposal of containers
Disposal of other contaminated materials

13. Disposing of Animal Carcasses

Notifiable diseases
Burying carcasses on the farm

14. Nitrate and phosphorus

Organic manures
Inorganic nitrogen fertiliser
Crop cover
Crop residues
Autumn cultivations
Managing grassland
Ploughing up grass

15. Specialised Horticulture

Soil-grown protected crops
Hydrophonic protected crops
Non-recirculating systems
Recirculating systems
Container nursery stock
Overhead watering
Recirculation of water
Nutrient input
Pesticide use
Organic wastes
Other wastes
Mushroom compost production
Mushroom production buildings


  1. Environment Agency: Contact details
  2. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: Contact details Welsh Office Agricultural Department: Contact details
  3. Land area needed for spreading wastes from different livestock
  4. Amount of excreta produced by livestock
  5. Typical amounts of bedding materials used by each animal in livestock housing systems
  6. Amounts of cleaning water used
  7. Sources of information

Legislation: general
British Standards specifications
Health and Safety Publications
Codes of Practice
Other publications
Contact details for rainfall information



© Crown Copyright, MAFF 1998. Reproduced for ADLib under Licence.

The following alternate versions of this document are available:

PDF VersionAddendum to Water code - June 2002 - PDF Version
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