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Pesticides & herbicides
- What are pesticides and herbicides and what do they do?
- These are chemicals that are used to control weeds and insects and are widely used in farming, by organisations such as councils and also by the general public in their homes and gardens. The use of these substances is governed by regulations and codes of practice issued by Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra).
- Can pesticides and herbicides get into my water supply?
- Although the use of pesticides and herbicides are strictly controlled in the UK, small amounts can enter rivers and streams or find their way into underground water sources.
- All raw water sources such as rivers, reservoirs and boreholes are monitored for the presence of these compounds, though at most sources we can detect no traces of them. At those sources where we can detect traces, treatment has been put in place to remove them.
- The UK standard for pesticides and herbicides is very stringent at 0.1 micrograms per litre (0.1 parts per billion) for individual pesticides or 0.5 micrograms per litre for total pesticides. All of our supplies meet this very strict standard.
- How are you trying to reduce the levels of pesticides and herbicides entering raw water sources?
- We are actively working with the local farming community to encourage more effective use of pesticides and herbicides to reduce the levels that may enter the rivers and underground water sources.
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