Sheep being dipped© FLPA/Wayne/Hutchinson/REX/Shutterstock

A free and confidential pesticide and herbicide disposal scheme is available for farmers and growers across key catchment areas in Wales to safeguard water quality.

This is in response to a rise in water course pesticide levels sufficient to “breach rigorous drinking water standards” but not pose a risk to water drinkers.

This is according to Welsh Water’s monitoring programme, which has prompted a joint initiative between Welsh Water and Natural Resource Wales (NRW) called PestSmart.

Farms in the Teifi, Upper Wye, Towy, Pendine, Cefni and Alaw Reservoir catchments qualify to pre-arrange a date to have unwanted chemicals.

Farmers will be offered a “no questions asked” service on unwanted, out of date or revoked pesticides and herbicides, including sheep dip.

See also: Farmer Focus: Creek curbing gives peace of mind over water quality

Wildlife destruction

Recent high-profile pollution cases include a nine-week prohibition on drinking water in 2015 when Asulam (herbicide often used for bracken) leached into groundwater between Brecon and Llandovery.

In 2012, a 2km stretch of the River Ennig near Brecon had it’s white-clawed crayfish population “destroyed” by pesticides, as well as killing fish species.

Bob Vaughan, NRW’s sustainable land use manager said protecting water, along with soil and air, is essential for a sustainable environment.  

He added: “And while we know that pesticides play an essential and everyday role for farmers and land managers in Wales they can have a serious impact on our environment unless they are stored, used and disposed of correctly.”

Lesley Griffiths, Welsh government Cabinet secretary for environment and rural affairs, said: “This pesticide disposal scheme plays an important role in our Water Strategy for Wales’ vision of a thriving water environment which is sustainably managed.”

Register

To register, visit www.dwrcymru.com/pestsmart or call 01286 832 964 by no later than Friday 28 April.