Publications Plus online catalog
This Land
50 Ways Farmers Can Protect Their Groundwater
50 ways 57 ways 60 ways

35. Construct A Rinse Pad

advantages of a rinse pad

The most obvious reason for installing a rinse pad is to prevent pesticides from leaching through the soil, into the groundwater, or moving downslope, toward surface water. But that is not the only reason. Here are a few more:

  • A rinse pad allows you to capture and recycle rinse water.
  • Some insurance companies do not cover the cost of cleaning up a chemical spill, unless it is specifically mentioned in the policy.
  • A rinse pad could prevent costly spills and penalties and reduce legal liability.
  • Also, some dealers will not deliver bulk fertilizer or chemicals unless you have a rinse pad.
rinse pad diagram

There are many ways to design a rinse pad, but the best of them follow common guidelines:

  • Locate the pad away from surface water and wells.
  • If possible, do not locate the pad in an area where mixing and loading has been done in the past. Constructing a pad in such an area might seal soil that is contaminated.
  • Locate pumps and piping aboveground and within the rinse-pad area.
rinse pad diagram
  • Construct the pad from watertight concrete.
  • Make sure the pad is large enough to hold your largest application vehicle.
  • Design the pad to slope to the center—to floor drains leading to sumps. Sumps collect spills and rinse water, and they transfer liquid to aboveground tanks.
  • Make sure there is a level area for storage tanks at the back of the pad.
rinse pad and rinsate tank
  • Store the various rinsates of incompatible chemicals in separate containers.
  • Label rinsate storage tanks carefully so you don't mix incompatible chemicals.
  • Be sure rinsate tanks are small enough to encourage the rapid reuse of rinsate material.
  • Mount rinsate tanks at least 3 to 5 inches above the concrete floor. This helps you to spot leaks.
a low, concrete dike around the storage tanks
  • Install a low, concrete dike around the storage tanks. Dikes should be big enough to contain an amount that is at least 10 percent greater than the volume held by the largest rinse-water tank. That way, the dike will be able to contain a serious leak.
weatherproof shed
  • Keep undiluted fertilizers in a different containment area than undiluted pesticides. Each area should have a separate sump as well. You can divide fertilizers from pesticides with a concrete subdividing wall.
  • For security and safety, enclose the undiluted chemicals with a fence and locked gate. If chemicals need to be protected from weather, keep them in a weatherproof shed.
storage shed and rinse pad Check with the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, or local Extension office to find out about state requirements.

University of Illinois Logo