Irish Water has warned that an exceedance of the pesticide MCPA has been detected in Fingal’s public drinking water supply.
The overrun was detected as part of its public water supply monitoring program.
The water supply draws raw water from the River Liffey which Irish Water says is vulnerable to land runoff.
All users of herbicide or pesticide products in the Liffey catchment area are urged to consider the vulnerability of the water supply to pesticide contamination and the importance of this supply to homes and local businesses in the community.
Irish Water, working in partnership with a range of organizations involved in the NPDWAG, is asking the farming community, green space custodians, groundskeepers, as well as domestic users of pesticides, to consider in each case s they need to use pesticides.
According to Irish Water, leaving areas unsprayed can help native flowering plant species thrive and support a range of insects, including bees and other vital pollinators.
A third of Ireland’s bee species are threatened with extinction and by helping the bee population to survive and thrive we are also helping to protect our precious water sources.
Farmers should bear in mind that the application of herbicides reduces plant species diversity and could negatively affect payments under future agri-environment schemes.
When the use of pesticides is deemed necessary, the NPDWAG works with local communities to ensure that best practices to protect drinking water sources and biodiversity are followed.
Farmers and other landowners facing the rush challenge should take note of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM) guidelines on sustainable rush management.
More information can be obtained from your local agricultural adviser or at www.pcs.agriculture.gov.ie/sud/waterprotection
The NPDWAG is chaired by DAFM and involves key stakeholders from a range of government departments and agencies, local authorities, industry representative bodies, agricultural organizations, water and equipment sector organisations.
Andrew Boylan, Irish Water’s Regional Drinking Water Compliance Specialist, said: “At Fingal, exceedance of drinking water regulations for MCPA was found in the supply after routine sampling in July last year.
“Although our consultation with the HSE concluded that the levels observed do not pose a threat to public health, it is however undesirable and therefore imperative that pesticide users are aware of best practice when using herbicides or of pesticides and are looking for alternatives.”
Adding to this, Dr Aidan Moody, DAFM and Chairman of NPDWAG said, “We need the continued commitment of all stakeholders, working in partnership, to make further progress.
“Pesticide users should always consider alternatives first and if pesticide application is considered essential, ensure they are following best practices to protect water quality.”
A video from Irish Water on best practice in the use and application of products containing MCPA can be viewed at https://youtu.be/xQqtZ7jifUs
Information leaflets on the use of pesticides can also be downloaded from the Teagasc website at www.teagasc.ie and follow the link.
A guide providing 10 simple steps to responsible pesticide use is available at www.pcs.agriculture.gov.ie and follow the link.