How to Dispose of Rinsate from Tanks

The onus is on producers

A common question from producers is how to deal with spray rinsate, the chemical residue solution that comes about when cleaning out sprayer tanks. Disposing of rinsate can be a costly and time consuming process without the proper resources. As a result, it has occasionally become a controversial topic among producers.

With the number of different crop protection products on the market plus a wide range of different application technologies, there is no one simple option. Ultimately, however, the onus falls on producers to safely manage and dispose of spray rinsate.

Generally, the safest way to dispose of rinsate is to spray it out in the field after either pressure or triple rinsing sprayer tanks to remove excess chemical residue. This method is likely the easiest way to manage rinsate and it tackles the problem immediately.

However, not every producer has access to the necessary resources such as a nearby water source or a mobile water tank to pressure or triple rinse tanks away from the farmyard. As a result, it can become a time consuming chore demanding extra trips into the field.

Unfortunately, there is no clear solution to this common dilemma. There are, however, some standard pieces of advice EFP technicians give to producers wishing to dispose of their rinsate as safely, quickly and efficiently as possible. Fundamental to these is following directions on pesticide labels:

Read label directions

Label directions are still the most reliable resource on how to manage a given chemical product. Product labels offer an overview specific to that product and provide valuable guidelines on sprayer tank cleanout. A simple rule of thumb for spraying rinsate is if the product is not registered for use on a certain crop, it’s not appropriate to dispose of its residue on that crop either.

Most chemical labels also now include company contact information such as toll free numbers, with companies offering immediate technical support for their products during spray seasons.

Schedule spraying

Another piece of advice is to ensure, while staying in the proper spray window, that spraying schedules are adjusted as much as possible so fields that require the same chemical are sprayed all at once. This reduces the number of times a sprayer tank requires rinsing.

Available Assistance
Information and assistance on managing sprayer rinsate, as well as a number of other on-farm environmental practices, is available through a strong network of EFP Technicians throughout the province.

This article may be reprinted with the credit: Alberta Environmental Farm Plan
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