Landspreading Control

Local authorities regulate land spreading activities on farms to protect water quality.

Guidelines for Slurry/Fertiliser Spreading

Check the weather forecast before spreading. Do not apply organic or chemical fertilisers when heavy rain is forecast within the next 48 hours.

When to avoid spreading organic or chemical fertiliser:

  • On wet or waterlogged ground
  • On frozen or snow-covered land
  • On land sloping steeply towards rivers, streams, lakes and exposed bedrock
  • No Chemical Fertiliser should be applied within 3 m of any watercourse.
  • Avoid polluting surface waters and wells by leaving a buffer strip between them and the land on which organic fertilisers are applied.

General guidance on the widths that may be appropriate for buffer strips is set out below. It is essential that the recommended strip widths are observed in the case of domestic wells and public water supply sources. The width of the strip required to streams, lakes/drains and lake/main river channels will depend in each case on soil type, slop, and vegetative cover.

Recommended Buffer Strips for Organic material - in Meters

Streams and Drains 10
Lakes and Main River Channels 20
Domestic Wells 50
Public Water Supply Sources 50-300

Buffer zones from the Code of Good Practice using Biosolids - Treated Sewage Sludge for Farmers:

The following Buffer Strips must be observed when landspreading Biosolids:

Recommended Buffer Strips (m)

Sensitive Buildings (Hospitals, Schools and Churches: 200

Dwelling Houses: 100

Public Roads: 10

Streams and Drains: 10

Lakes and Main River Channels: 20

Domestic Wells: 50

Public Water Supply Sources: 50-300

No sewage sludge can be spread in County Carlow without the prior submission of a Nutrient Management Plan, prepared by a recognised Agricultural Consultant. The timeframe for assessing all NMP’S is 4 weeks.

Should you have any queries in relation to Sewage Sludge, please contact the Environment Section by phone 059 913 6231 or by email