June 22, 2014
Slurry Spreading Advice for Contractors and Farmers

The Environmental Departments of a number County Councils have been in touch with the office in relation to slurry spreading in the current adverse weather conditions and have stated they will be obliged to notify the Cross Compliance Unit of the Department of Agriculture of any instances where they find contraventions of the following:

Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977-1990

E.C. (Good Agricultural Practice for protection of Water) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 610 of 2010).

E.C. (Good Agricultural Practice for portection of Water) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 378 of 2006).

Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977-1990

Key Points you and any employees need to be aware of:

The Nitrates Directives states the following in relation to the spreading of any fertiliser

1.   Livestock manure and other organic fertilisers, effluents and soiled water shall be applied to land in as accurate and uniform a manner as is practically possible.

2.   Slurry, soiled water and fertilisers should not be applied to lands in any of the following circumstances:

  • The land is water-logged
  • The land is flooded or is likely to flood
  • The land is snow-covered or frozen
  • Heavy rain is forecast within 48 hours or
  • The ground slopes steeply and, taking into account proximity to waters, soil condition, ground cover and rainfall, there is a significant risk of causing water pollution.

3.   A person, shall for the purpose of above have regard to weather forecasts issued by Met Eireann.

4.   Organic fertilisers or soiled water shall not be applied to land-

  • By use of an umbilical system with an upward facing splash plate
  • By use of a tanker with an upward facing splash plate
  • By use of a sludge irrigator mounted on a tanker, or
  • From a roadway or passageway adjacent to the  land irrespective of whether or not the road or passageway is within or outside the cartilage of the holding

5.   When spreading slurry ensure that you leave a buffer strip beside any waterbody:

    • Streams and drains – leave a 10 metre strip
    • Lakes and main rivers – leave a 20 metre strip
    • Domestic wells – leave a 50 metre strip
    • Public water supply sources – leave a 50-300 metre strip