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Protecting Water in Europe

TOPPS Best Management Practices

The TOPPS Best Management Practices (BMPS), address point sources and are being developed within Europe to help European farmers to use PPPs in a sustainable way. Outside of the European Union (EU), the TOPPS  BMPs can serve as a basis to develop local BMPs but local legislation, practices and knowledge need to be taken into account if local BMPs are developed.

The TOPPS project identifies key stages of the spraying process as:

  1. Transport
  2. Storage
  3. Before Use
  4. During Use
  5. After Use
  6. Remnant Management

The detailed Best Management Practices of the TOPPS project can be downloaded as a 387 kb pdf file. The principles underlying the Best Management Practices and which have been abstracted from that file are:

Personal safety first


  • AVOID spills and vehicle contamination
  • BE PREPARED in case of emergencies
  • OBEY laws related to transport of hazardous goods


  • CAREFULLY plan WHERE & HOW to set up your PPP storage facility
  • IMPLEMENT proper daily store management
  • AVOID spills & BE PREPARED to manage them in case they occur
  • NEVER drain spills directly into surface water or sewage system
  • BE PREPARED in case of an emergency

Before use:

  • PLAN in advance at farm level (long term commitment)
  • INCLUDE environmental issues in sprayer’s choice and decisions
  • MAINTAIN spray equipment properly to avoid remnants and loss of time
  • AVOID accidental spills & uncontrolled PPP release
  • NEVER drain spills directly into surface water or sewage system
  • DRIVE carefully
  • ALWAYS be prepared in case of emergencies

During use:

  • ENSURE the safety of operators’ and bystanders
  • CHECK & RESPOND to spills & leakages at once
  • NEVER spray directly over wells, into water or onto hard surfaces
  • AVOID drift
  • RESPECT buffer zones
  • AVOID spray operation if soil or weather conditions are favourable for point
  • source pollution (such as water logged & snow covered)

After use

  • ENSURE internal & external cleaning is remote or isolated from sensitive areas
  • USE multiple rinse methodology
  • NEVER expose sensitive water areas to spray liquid residuals
  • STORE & MAINTAIN sprayer in safe area for humans & environment

Remnant management

  • COMPLY with local legislation

TOPPS | Principles of BMPs