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Development of a design manual for agricultural pesticide handling and washdown areas - PL0535

Research studies in the UK and other countries have identified that a significant portion of the pesticides found in surface or groundwaters can derive from point sources. In the UK approximately 40% of the isoproturon found at the source of the R. Cherwell in 1998/99 was derived from farm yard operations. The work illustrated that a number of simple cost effective measures could be implemented, by the spray operator, during the tank mixing and washdown process, to improve practice and minimise water contamination. In association with the Environment Agency, this project aims to provide a UK consistent design, construction and operation manual for pesticide handling and washdown areas based on practical engineering design and cost effectiveness which can be adopted to suit site specific circumstances. The work intends to construct a selection of the possible design solutions and monitor their effectiveness, whilst also using the sites for demonstration, training and awareness opportunities. The consequent improvements in operator practice and his working environment are expected to reduce risks from pesticide exposure and will minimise the potential for water contamination by pesticides and the subsequent impact on non-target organisms.
Overall project objectives:
To develop practical and low-cost design criteria for pesticide handling and washdown areas in order to reduce pesticide pollution from such point sources, based on an improved understanding of the risk from waste pesticides arising from agricultural activities
To establish facilities at a number of working farms to demonstrate construction, operation, costs and short term/ long term efficacy.

Overall project specific objectives:

1. To review the current practices of farmers in the UK and elsewhere in handling pesticides, washing down equipment and subsequent handling of waste pesticide arising.
2. To identify and review existing guidance on pesticide handling and washdown areas.
3. To review past and on-going R&D projects to gather relevant information on pesticide handling practices and procedures.
4. To conduct on-farm experiments at selected sites to determine the fate of pesticides following normal handling and washdown activities on different surfaces.
5. To develop a design for pesticide handling and washdown area constructed of concrete and depending on the outcome of the previous work, a separate design(s) may be developed for an area constructed of a different material(s).
6. To identify and modify an existing facility or construct a new facility to the new design specification.
7. To conduct a trial of the concrete/different surface pesticide handling area at a selected farm.
8. To produce a design manual (including any necessary refinements identified during the trial) for the concrete/different surface pesticide handling and washdown area.

Project Documents
• Final Report : Development of a Design Manual For Agrcultural Pesticide Handling and Washdown Areas   (253k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2000

To: 2003

Cost: £189,849
Contractor / Funded Organisations
ADAS UK Ltd., Environment Agency
Environmental Effects              
Pest and Weed Control              
Pesticide use              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Pesticide Safety