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Building an Agrichemical Store

Safe storage of agricultural chemicals is obviously an important issue that you must pay attention to. Some of the issues you need to consider include:

Location

Regardless whether your store is temporary or permanent, standalone or part of an existing building, it must be situated:

  • in a safe place, away from water, environmentally sensitive areas, storage areas for fuel or other flammable goods and incinerators
  • in an area that is not prone to flooding
  • away from strong winds

Construction

Your store must be soundly built and comply with its resource consent, local by-laws and regional and district plans. Specific construction issues include:

  • ceilings and walls constructed of appropriate fire rating materials
  • good ventilation and lighting
  • no direct sunlight on stored products
  • appropriate signage.

Spill containment

Your store's construction should incorporate a system to contain spills, e.g. a fully bunded impervious floor OR drip trays. This helps avoid spills or leaks spreading and contaminating other agrichemicals in the store, the ground or waterways.  One option for smaller agrichemical containers is to store them in fish bins or clean, used plastic containers cut in half.

Secondary containment (e.g. bunding) must be installed when the quantities of liquid substances exceed certain levels.


Hazard class Threshold quantity above which
secondary containment is required
6.1A, 6.1B, 6.1C 100 L
6.1D, 6.5A, 6.5B, 6.7A 1,000 L
6.6A, 6.7B, 6.8A, 6.9A 10,000 L
8.2A 100 L
8.2B 1,000 L
8.2C, 8.3A 10,000 L
9.1A 100 L
9.1B, 9.1C 1,000 L
9.1D 10,000 L

 

The specific secondary containment requirements also depend on:

  • the total quantity of hazardous substances eg >5,000 litres
  • the hazard classes eg class 6,8,9 only or also classes 1-5
  • the size of the container - up to 60 litres, 60-450 litres, and greater than 450 litres.

 

Refer to Product Safety Cards or HazNotes for threshold values for secondary containment for individual products.  Alternatively, WorkSafe's Hazardous Substances Calculator will work out if you need secondary containment.
Other resources relating to storage or agrichemicals are:

  • Appendix L of the NZS 8409:2004 Management of Agrichemicals provides 15 pages of detail on the safe storage of agrichemicals.
  • Your District Council may also have additional specific requirements of their own - as they are responsible for the management of hazardous substances storage under the RMA.
  • The Hawkes Bay Regional Council offers a useful Agrichemical Storage Checklist which is based on the NZS 8409:2004 Management of Agrichemicals.
  • The Tasman District Council provide guidelines for the siting and construction of agrichemical storage sheds.

Do keep in mind, however, that these resources also incorporate requirements (e.g. locating the store a minimum distance away from a bore or well) that other Regional Councils may not require (so check your Council's requirements too).