How to safely dispose of waste sheep dip

Sheep dip is highly toxic and is classed as a hazardous substance. It must be carefully handled, stored and disposed of to prevent pollution of the environment.

This page tells you how you can safely dispose of the waste produced after dipping sheep and what permissions are required.

For more information on what you should do before, during and after dipping sheep follow the Welsh Government’s groundwater protection code for sheep dip.

Download the Welsh Government Groundwater Protection Code for Sheep Dip

Used sheep dip can be collected from your farm by a registered waste carrier for disposal at a waste treatment facility.

Alternatively, if you want to dispose of used sheep dip to land you must have an Environmental Permit. There’s a fee to apply for the permit and an annual fee to keep the permit.  This permit allows you to carefully spread waste dip onto land in a controlled manner.

More information on the cost of these permits can be found on the Our Charges page.

Disposal at waste treatment facilities

If you plan to dispose of the dip away from the site, you must use a registered waste carrier. Your waste carrier can also take away,

  • surplus sheep dip concentrate
  • dip that has passed its expiry date
  • empty containers, if you can’t return them to the manufacturer

Mobile dippers who visit a number of farms to dip sheep and who bring waste dip back to their own premises for disposal may need to temporarily store waste sheep dip before it’s collected for recovery or disposal at a waste treatment facility.

If you follow the conditions below you can carry out this storage activity without an environmental permit for a waste operation.  Conditions you must comply with:

  • only store used sheep dip which has been diluted according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • follow the Welsh Government sheep dip: groundwater protection code
  • only store up to 20 cubic metres of waste sheep dip at any one time
  • only store waste sheep dip for up to 3 months
  • not cause a risk to water, air, soils, plants or animals

You must store the waste sheep dip:

  • in a bunded area with an impermeable base that can retain 110% of the largest container or 25% of the total volume that could be stored, whichever is greater
  • at least 10 metres from a watercourse
  • at least 50 metres from any spring, well or borehole that is not used to supply water for domestic use or food production
  • at least 250 metres from any spring, well or borehole used to supply water for domestic use or food production
  • not within a groundwater source protection zone 1

How to safely dispose of waste sheep dip to land

You must have an environmental permit to dispose of waste sheep dip to land. 

We can only accept applications which meet our requirements for the disposal of waste sheep dip to land. Any applications received which do not meet these requirements will be returned to the applicant.

The requirements for the disposal of waste sheep dip to land in Wales are;

  • the total volume of working strength used dip disposed of to land per annum is 5 cubic metres or less. This is the volume prior to any dilution with slurry or water to facilitate spreading onto land.
  • the total area is authorised for use not more than once a year; or any individual plots within this wider area are authorised for use no more than once per year,
  • a maximum of 3 disposals per annum takes place across the wider site/ farm holding
  • the land must be in general agricultural use. Land which is utilised for disposal purposes only would be considered a landfill.
  • the area of land available is sufficient so that the spreading of waste sheep dip can be kept to a safe minimum This equates to 5 m3/ha if the used dip is at working strength, rising to 20m3/ha/day used dip that has been further diluted by slurry or water to dispose via vacuum tanker.

Suitable discharge areas are those which do not risk polluting groundwater or surface water. They should:

  • have vegetation which is fully grown
  • not be bare, sparsely vegetated, fissured or compacted
  • be of low value to wildlife and not designated land such SACs, SSSIs
  • have a good depth of topsoil (for example, more than 20 centimetres deep)
  • not be poorly draining or waterlogged
  • be at least 10 metres away from watercourses, ditches and open land drains which may run dry for part of the year
  • be at least 50 metres down from springs, well or borehole irrespective of current use
  • be even or have only a moderate (<12 degree) slope
  • not contain field drains, or where field drains are present these should deep

Infiltration systems (soakaways) are not suitable discharge areas.

How to apply for an Environmental Permit to dispose of waste sheep dip to land

To apply for an Environmental Permit to discharge used sheep dip, you will need to complete our online application form B7


If you need advice before you make an application for a permit please use our pre-application advice service

How to safely dispose of waste pesticides and other liquid wastes to land

We do not accept environmental permit applications for the disposal of waste pesticides or other liquid wastes to land. Waste pesticide spray and washings can be:

  • collected for disposal off-site by a registered waste carrier
  • disposed of ‘in crop’ whereby the sprayer is emptied and cleaned in the field being treated using the minimum amount of water necessary and ensuring that the maximum dose is not exceeded. This does not require an Environmental Permit.
  • discharged into a lined biobed. This may be eligible for a T32 waste exemption. Read about waste exemptions for agriculture.

How to safely dispose of water and disinfectant after an animal disease outbreak

One-off landspreading of washwaters containing disinfectant is permitted in exceptional circumstances such as during the outbreak of a notifiable exotic disease in animals (Foot and Mouth, Avia Flu etc) once all other disposal options had been exhausted.

Read more on our webpage ‘How to safely dispose of water and disinfectant after an animal disease outbreak’

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