Pesticides & Herbicides

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