Worrying pesticide levels found in Galway water supplies

Galway Daily news

Excessive pesticide levels have been recorded in Galway’s water supplies as Irish Water that this issues is on the increase in multiple counties.

Pesticide levels in exceedance of guidelines continue to be detected across Galway, with worryingly excessive levels found in the Ballinasloe Public Water Supply and Tully-Tullycross Public Water Supply in 2018.

Further testing in the past two months has found excessive levels of the pesticide MCPA in Ballinasloe, with a warning that this could contaminate the River Suck which supplies drinking water in Galway and Roscommon.

If this continues the Ballinasloe Regional Water Supply could be place on the EPA’s Remedial Action List.

Though these levels do not pose a threat to public health, farmers are being urged to use best practices when spraying pesticides on their land to avoid any runoff into drinking water supplies.

Andy Boylan, Regional Drinking Water Compliance Specialist with Irish Water, said that 82 percent of public drinking water in Ireland comes from surface water sources such as rivers, lakes, and streams.

“Such supplies are vulnerable to contamination from land and animal run-off,” he warned.

Irish Water working in partnership with the National Pesticides and Drinking Water Action Group, which draws stakeholders from multiple sectors including farming, to address this issue.

Regulations of pesticides are so stringent that a single drop is enough to breach the drinking water limit in a small stream for up to 30km.

Andy Boylan said that Irish Water is moving ahead with its extensive investment programme to improve drinking and wastewater services throughout Ireland.

He added that providing “safe, clean drinking water” for all is Irish Water’s first priority.”