7 January 2019 Go back to News
Glyphosate detected in drinking water in Waterford, farmers urged to be mindful when spraying pesticides
It is imperative that users of pesticides are mindful of best practice when spraying lands
Exceedances in pesticides have been detected in drinking water sources in Co. Waterford. Irish Water, working in partnership with the National Pesticides and Drinking Water Action Group (NPDWAG), is appealing to farmers and other users of pesticides to follow the guidelines when applying these substances to their lands.
The efforts to reduce the incidence of these detections are being coordinated by the NPDWAG which is chaired by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. All of the key stakeholders are represented in this group and include other Government departments and agencies; local authorities; industry representative bodies; farming organisations; water sector organisations; and amenity sector organisations.
In Co. Waterford, exceedances for the pesticide Glyphosate were noted in the Villierstown supply in December. While there is no threat to public health, it is imperative that users of pesticides are mindful of best practice when spraying their lands.
Glyphosate is used mainly for the control of broad-based leaves and is found in a number of weed killer formulations used by gardeners and growers.
Users of pesticides should make sure that they are aware of the best practice measures that should be followed to protect water quality.
Dr. Aidan Moody, Chair of NPDWAG
Drinking water supplies are vulnerable to contamination
Pat Duggan Irish Water’s Regional Drinking Water Compliance Specialist said “Irish Water is continuing its extensive investment programme to improve water and wastewater services in Ireland. Providing safe, clean drinking water for all is our first priority.”
Adding to this, Dr. Aidan Moody, Chair of NPDWAG, added “The continued engagement of all stakeholders, working in partnership, is needed to tackle this issue. Users of pesticides should make sure that they are aware of the best practice measures that should be followed to protect water quality.”
A single drop of pesticide can breach the drinking water limit in a small stream for up to 30 kilometres. This clearly highlights the potential risk facing many of Ireland’s drinking water sources.
Drinking water monitoring results for Ireland show that a number of pesticides commonly used such as Bentazone, MCPP, Clopyralid and Fluroxypyr, are being detected more frequently.
Irish Water working in partnership with the National Pesticides and Drinking Water Action Group would like to remind farmers and professional users of pesticides to follow best practice in the application of pesticides on land, particularly near lakes and rivers used as drinking water sources.
The basic steps in reducing pesticide risks are as follows:
- Choose the right pesticide product
- Read and follow the product label
- Determine the right amount to purchase and use
- Don’t spray if rain or strong wind is forecast in the next 48 hours
- Make sure you are aware of the location of all nearby water courses
- Comply with any buffer zone specified on the product label to protect the aquatic environment. Mark out the specified buffer zone from the edge of the river or lake or other water course
- Never fill a sprayer directly from a water course or carry out mixing, loading or other handling operations beside a water course
- Avoid spills, stay well back from open drains and rinse empty containers 3 times into the sprayer
- Store and dispose of pesticides and their containers properly
Information leaflets on pesticide use are also available to download from the Teagasc website at www.teagasc.ie/crops/crops/fodder-crops/.
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