Slurry storage regulations
Slurry tank’s and their contents can be incredibly dangerous, which is why there are many rules and regulations in place to protect farmworkers and members of the public from slurry tank accidents. The slurry is broken down as a result of bacterial action which in turn produces a number of potentially dangerous gases. Slurry gases include; carbon monoxide, ammonia, methane and hydrogen sulphide. All of these gases can pose a risk for both humans and animals.
If you have a slurry tank and store slurry, you must follow the legislation put in place. All slurry stores must be impermeable and meet the anti-corrosion standards set in British Standard 5502-50:1993+A2:2010. As the owner of a farm or as a land manager, you are responsible for meeting the rules and regulations set out for the storage of slurry. You will also need to check whether you require planning permission to build your slurry tank. Once your slurry tank is complete, you should continuously ensure that there’s no risk of pollution.
If you are considering investing in a new slurry tank or are making substantial changes to your slurry storage, you must follow these rules;
– The slurry tank MUST be at least 10 metres clear of inland or coastal waters. If your slurry store is near a water supply intake, you may need a larger safety zone. We can advise you on the location of your slurry tank. Drains and sealed pipes may be placed within 10 metres of inland or coastal waters if the environment agency agrees to an exception. You should request this when you inform the environment agency of your project.
– Your slurry tank MUST have a lifespan of at least 20 years. A tank that is underground should last at least 20 years without maintenance.
Inform the environment agency
Before you begin any work on your slurry tank, you should inform the environment agency at least 14 days before construction begins. You can do this by calling or writing to your local environment agency office. You will need the following information;
– Your name, address, telephone and email
– Details of the type of storage you wish to build or substantially change
– The exact location of your proposed storage, with the 8 figure grid reference
– A site plan drawing of the proposed structure
– A design plan, showing the design, specification, layout and materials to be used. You may also need to confirm that your design meets the requirements of BS 5502
– If you are planning to use prefabricated products, you should have a copy of the manufacturer’s specification guarantee
When calculating the capacity requirements of your slurry tank, you should include a minimum of 300 millimetres of freeboard. Your slurry tank should have the capacity for at least 4 months of slurry storage. This will depend on how much slurry you use, the size of your tank and the amount of rainfall.
If your slurry tank is fitted with a drainage pipe, it must have 2 valves that are separated by at least 1 metre. Each individual valve must be able to stop the flow of slurry and be locked when not in use. There is one exception to this if your slurry tank drains into another tank of equal or greater capacity.
Newly updated legislation that has recently come into force is the use of covers on newly built slurry tanks. As of February 2021 slurry stores and lagoons must be covered, unless an appropriate alternative is in place.