Storage and Use of Manure and other Agricultural By-products

This page highlights storage and uses requirements for manure and other agricultural by-products under the Code of Practice for Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM Code).

Agricultural by-products include:

  • Manure and soiled animal bedding
  • Vegetative debris (such as leaves from trimming and pruning activities)
  • Products of agricultural composting
  • Used soilless growing media
  • Used mushroom growing substrate

Agricultural by-products and wood residues that are brought on to the agricultural land base may only be stored if they are used on that land base.

General rules

  1. Divert runoff water from entering the storage area.
  2. Prevent contaminated runoff and leachate from entering watercourses, crossing the property boundary or going below the water table.
  3. Follow minimum setbacks from drinking water sources, watercourses, and property boundaries.
  4. Prevent wildlife, pests and domestic pets from accessing the storage area.

Click on the links to find out specific requirements for the type of storage: 

In addition to the general rules above,

  • In a vulnerable aquifer recharge area, make sure there is a protective base under the storage (e.g., concrete pad, engineered compacted soil liner or synthetic liner).

If you store material for longer than seven months you will need to have enough permanent storage capacity until it is either applied as a nutrient source or removed from the agricultural land base.

  1. Existing structures must be maintained to prevent materials, leachate and contaminated runoff from escaping.
  2. A new or modified structure needs a protective base that must be inspected every six months for leaks. Keep records of the date pf the inspection, results, any issues, and corrective actions are taken.
  3. See specific liquid manure requirements here. 

Only solid agricultural by-products can be stored seven months or less in the field. A permanent storage structure is needed for longer-term storage. In addition to the general storage rules:

  1. Locate the pile in a high, dry area (e.g., not on standing water, saturated soils or seasonally flooded areas).
  2. If the pile is stored for two weeks or longer, ensure the pile is not placed on the same location for at least three years after it is moved.
  3. Once the pile is spread or removed, re-establish grass or another type of vegetation to remove any nutrients that may be leftover in the soil.
  4. Check the pile weekly, keep records of when the pile was started, the location, materials stored, any issues and corrective actions taken.
  5. In a high precipitation area (an area that gets 600 mm or more from October to April, e.g., Lower Fraser Valley), cover the pile from October 1 to April 1.
  6. In a vulnerable aquifer recharge area, do not locate the pile on coarse-textured soil when storing more than two weeks.


Disclaimer: The information on this page is guidance only. Please refer to the Code of Practice for Agricultural Environmental Management for specific regulatory requirements.