Pollution

Irish Water raises concerns over increase in overuse of pesticides in Tipperary

Warning comes following incidents at Dundrum water supply

Tipperary Star reporter

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Irish Water raises concerns over rise in overuse of pesticides in Tipperary

Irish Water has raised concerns over the increase in the overuse of pesticides in Tipperary

Irish Water is warning pesticide users to be careful of how they spread the products following a number of incidents in the premier county over the past two years.

According to the State body, exceedances in pesticides are on the increase across Tipperary, with one exceedance detected during 2018 in the Dundrum public water supply.

The Dundrum supply has seen the herbicide MCPA detected over the past two years, albeit mostly at very low levels.

MCPA, which is commonly used to kill rushes on wet land, is the main offender. Careless storage, handling or improper application means it can easily end up in drinking water leading to breaches of the drinking water regulations.

While there is no threat to public health, it is imperative that users of pesticides are mindful of best practice when spraying their lands.

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 ensure that best practice measures to protect drinking water quality are always followed, said a spokesperson.

“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,” said Dr Aidan Moody, chair of NPDWAG.

The regulations are so stringent that a single drop of pesticide is enough to breach the drinking water limit in a small stream for up to 30 kilometres. This clearly highlights the level of care needed to protect drinking water sources.