The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have confirmed to the Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) that contractors do not require water abstraction licences when drawing water from a natural water source for slurry dilution.
The national association representing Agricultural/Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) sought clarification on the issue as many contractors have to use water from rivers and streams for the dilution of slurry. The welcomed the news that contractors need not seek a licence when using the water for dilution purposes during slurry agitation.
Necessary Requirement -
FCI National Chairman, Richard White, says dilution is a very necessary requirement, especially when using low emission systems.
“This dilution requirement is especially necessary when the farm contractor is spreading the slurry using low emission slurry spreading machinery, such as trailing shoe, injector or dribble bar systems,” Richard White commented.
“These machines are very prone to blockages from the high dry matter Irish animal slurries that typically contain significant amounts of silage/hay from bale silage feeding systems. These more expensive low emission slurry spreading machines which many contractors have invested in, all require the slurry to be more dilute than with splash plate spreading systems, in order to prevent time-consuming machine blockages in the field,” he added.
The news means that farming contractors do not need to go through the process of registering for each water abstraction when working for a client. The FCI say the non-licencing requirement for abstraction exclusively for slurry dilution during the agitation process significantly eases the potential burden on farm contractors. The FCI estimate that for an average slurry tanker, 2,500 gallons, in excess of two tanker loads of water would be required for dilution purposes.
The EPA also confirmed to the FCI that farmers who abstract water from natural water sources for irrigation purposes or for use as livestock drinking water, are required to register for a licence should the total of water taken be in excess of 25,000 litres per day.