Pesticides and Herbicides
Pesticides and herbicides can enter rivers, streams or groundwater bodies used as sources for drinking water supplies through direct application, run-off, aerial drift or by seeping through the soil.
Prevention is better – Do you know that one foil seal contains enough pesticide to breach 0.21 microgram/L level along 30km of a typical stream (width = 1m, depth = .03m)?
General advice for users to minimise point-source pesticide emissions (typical entry routes: mixing, filling, washing, spillage, leaks)
· Be aware of location of water bodies and if they are used to supply drinking water.
· Do not apply if heavy rain is forecast within 48 hours.
· Do not apply to saturated or frozen ground. Avoid applications to
soils that are prone to repeated water logging.
· Do not apply if field drains are overflowing.
· Do not apply on areas with channels that drain directly to water.
· Do not apply to dry, cracked soil.
· Do not apply on poorly draining wet soils that slope strongly
towards a water body.
· Consider grassed buffer strip to protect vulnerable water bodies.
· Ensure application equipment is properly calibrated.
· Do not spray in windy conditions.
· Keep the spray boon as low as possible.
· Use the coarsest appropriate spray quality.
· Use drift-reducing nozzles if possible.
· Consider lower application rates, different application timings, alternative treatments, etc.
The labels and information supplied with plant protection products often specify measures to reduce aquatic exposure, e.g. a buffer zone of a particular width. If a buffer zone is specified on the label of a plant protection product, it must be complied with. An adequate buffer zone is an untreated strip of a specified minimum width between the edge of a water feature (such as a ditch, stream, pond, river or lake) and the edge of the treated area adjacent to the water body.
Good practice guide for empty pesticide containers.
General guidelines for pesticides.
Pesticides - Advice for Gardeners and Household Users
Pesticides - Advice for Farmers and Other Professional Users
Protecting Drinking Water from Pesticides
Herbicide Use in Grassland