The Environmental Protection Agency is currently investigating claims that rush killing pesticides are contaminating the drinking water of almost 1 million people.
According to the Drinking Water Report for 2016 over 60 supplies of water have failed to meet the pesticide standards. This, they say, leaves a lot of members of the public at risk, with a high number of contaminated supplies found. The EPA warned though that it is herbicides which cause the biggest risk to the public’s health.
The pesticide standards are set well below levels which would actually cause harm to humans, though these pesticides should not be present in water whatsoever. The most commonly used pesticide in Ireland is MCPA, It is used to tackle rushes, thistles and ragwort.
Irish water commenced a water monitoring programme back in 2016, to keep an eye on all public water supplies for any of the 21 pesticides commonly used in the country. In lieu of this recent development, the EPA say Irish Water are now working to implement different approaches to help deal with the issue.
The EPA have identified 16 different supplies where pesticides were found at levels exceeding standards. They say Irish Water had not taken the necessary steps to ensure levels were not too high.
The EPA called for a National Pesticides Strategy to be set up, while Irish Water claimed this will be implemented in 2017’s third quarter. The agency also say this issues needs to be addressed nationally and locally. The EPA called for the monitoring programme to be carried out on all Irish Water supplies.
The EPA also released a water quality review on Tuesday, where 87 supplies were found to be contaminated and at risk. The review found that over 700,000 are at risk to drinking contaminated water. While it also identified 32 supplies as being unsafe, affecting over 160,000 people in total. The review found that 41 boiled water notices were issued in total last year.