Galway farmers urged to use caution after pesticides found in local drinking water

Galway Daily news

Galway farmers are being reminded to follow guidelines spraying pesticides after excessive levels were found in drinking water sources in Tullycross and Ballinasloe.

Irish Water and the National Pesticides and Drinking Water Action Group are urging farmers to use best practices after exceedances in pesticide levels have been recorded at drinking water supplies around the country.

Levels in excess of guidelines were found at 37 sites supplying drinking water in tests carries out in the past two years.

Irish water have said that while there is no threat to public health from the levels recorded it is still essential that Galway farmers use best spraying practices.

Commenting ahead of the 2018 spraying season, Deirdre O’Loughlin, Irish Water’s Regional Drinking Water Compliance Specialist said the majority of Irish drinking water supplies are vulnerable to contamination.

“In Ireland, the majority, 82%, 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.”

The most common pesticide to turn up is MCPA, which is mainly used to kill rushes on wet land.

A single drop of pesticides in water can breach the drinking water limit in a stream for up to 30 kilometres.

A collection of leaflets on Teagasc’s website contain information on best practices when making use of pesticide’s.