Cross compliance: groundwater (GAEC 3) (2017)
Summary of the rules on protecting groundwater from agricultural pollution.
In this page
The aim of this requirement is to protect groundwater from agricultural pollution.
- Groundwater is defined as all water below the surface of the ground that is in the saturation zone (that is below the water table) and in direct contact with the land or subsoil.
- Complete lists of hazardous and non-hazardous substances are available from Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
- Under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010, a permit is required from NRW before disposing of hazardous and non-hazardous substances only to land, and you must comply with all the conditions of the permit.
- Do not spread spent sheep dip on land that is steeply sloping, poorly drained, waterlogged or has cracked soil.
- Do not spread any hazardous or non-hazardous substance on land which is within 10 metres of any surface water and 50 metres of any well, borehole, spring, or watercourse important for wildlife.
- Where hazardous substances and polluting substances are used, manufactured, stored or handled, farmers will be expected to comply with relevant Codes of Practice such as: The Disposal of Sheep Dip Code and must comply with the requirements of Water Resources (Control of Pollution) (Oil Storage) (Wales) Regulations 2016/359.
- Check that a valid NRW permit is held before disposing of hazardous and non-hazardous substances on the land.
- Check that old vehicle batteries are not polluting groundwater.
- All farmers and contractors are advised to follow the Code of Practice for the Use and Disposal of Sheep Dip Compounds, in addition to any specific permit requirements. Copies are available via Welsh Government website.
- When disposing of sheep dip, spread only at low application rates e.g. not more than 5 cubic metres per hectare if not diluted further, if using a vacuum tanker or at 20 cubic metres per hectare if diluted with 3 parts slurry or water alongside any specific guidance issued by NRW in the permit.
- Guidance on oil storage for farmers can be found on the Oil Care Campaign website: www.oilcare.org.uk/look-after- your-oil/farmers-horticulture/
For further information please contact:
- Welsh Government
- Natural Resources Wales
or see Cross compliance: useful contacts (2022) factsheet within this pack.