This year saw a significant drop nationally in the number of exceedances – in treated water – of the pesticide drinking water quality standard, according to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. MCPA was a key target in water monitoring.

The decrease has been particularly marked in the priority catchment areas, which were outlined and monitored more regularly under the industry-led product stewardship scheme.

Also Read: Water to be sampled on a weekly basis for MCPA

The stewardship scheme was in place by the start of 2018 and companies marketing MCPA products were required to take part. Under the scheme, four priority catchment areas were agreed with Irish Water and the EPA.

These catchments were:
  • Abbeyfeale;
  • Longford Central;
  • Kilkenny City;
  • Newcastle West.

Monitoring in these catchment areas began towards the end of March of this year. In that time, exceedances have reduced nationally, but particularly in the catchment areas.

A total of six exceedances occurred in treated water in the four catchments this year; this is down from 19 in 2017.

The monitoring programme is also helping to build an understanding of the behaviours of MCPA in the catchment areas. This allows stakeholders to target actions more effectively.

This information will also be used by Teagasc as part of its Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme which aims to assist in improving water quality in the priority areas for pesticides.