Farm Ireland
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Wednesday 20 February 2019

Glyphosate detected in drinking water in Waterford, farmers urged to be mindful when spraying pesticides

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

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.

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.

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 commented: “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.

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