Pesticides have been detected in Louisburgh drinking water supply and users are being urged by Irish Water to be responsible when spraying pesticides and to consider alternatives.
The utility company says the water is safe for human consumption.
An exceedance for the pesticide MCPA has been detected in the public drinking water supply in the area. MCPA is a commonly used herbicide present in many products used to control thistles, docks and rushes. The exceedance was noted following routine sampling of drinking water supplies.
The Louisburgh water supply comes from the Bunnahowan River which is vulnerable to contamination from land and animal run-off. Irish Water is asking users of pesticide products in the Bunnahowan River catchment to consider the vulnerability of the water supplies to pesticide contamination and the importance of this supply to the local community.
Irish Water, working in partnership with a range of organisations involved in the National Pesticides and Drinking Water Action Group (NPDWAG), is providing advice and guidance to all users of pesticides including the farming community, greens keepers and grounds keepers and domestic users, to ensure that best practice measures to protect drinking waters are always followed. More information on this can be obtained from your local farm advisor or on www.pcs.agriculture.gov.ie/sud/waterprotection
Dr Pat O’Sullivan, Irish Water’s Regional Drinking Water Compliance Specialist said: “In Co Mayo, the exceedance of the drinking water regulations for MCPA was noted in the Louisburgh public water supply following routine sampling this month (September). While the HSE has advised that the levels seen do not represent a threat to public health, it is however undesirable and it is therefore imperative that users of pesticides are mindful of best practice when spraying their lands.”