High levels of pesticide used for killing rushes detected in Donegal water
Farmers urged to use best practice when spraying pesticides following MCPA detections in drinking water in Donegal.
Exceedances in pesticides have been detected in drinking water sources in Co Donegal and as a result Donegal County Council is appealing to farmers and other users of pesticides to follow the guidelines when applying these substances to their lands.
In Donegal the exceedances were noted in Killybegs, Carrigart-Downings and Donegal (Lough Eske) in 2017 as well as low level detections in many other supplies and while there is no threat to public health, it is imperative that users of pesticides are mindful of best practice when spraying their lands.
In Ireland, the majority (82pc) of drinking water supplies come from surface water sources (water from rivers, lakes and streams). Such supplies are vulnerable to contamination from land and animal run-off.
In Donegal, no fewer than 11 different public water supplies across the county have seen the herbicide MCPA detected over the past two years, albeit mostly at very low levels.
MCPA is used mainly for eradicating rushes, a problem for many years on Irish farms and one that looks like continuing for many more years.
It is also found in other weed killer formulations used by gardeners and growers, so its use is quite widespread.
A spokesperson from Donegal County Council said spring is a time of year for new growth and many people are getting back out into their fields and gardens to assess the effects of winter and prepare for the year ahead.