Up to date knowledge of the changing risks posed by new pesticide product authorisations, withdrawals and amendments will allow UK water utility companies to proactively monitor and manage water quality in source catchments.
Pesticides are the primary cause of drinking water quality noncompliance in the UK. Metaldehyde, MCPA and propyzamide currently pose the most widespread risk in Drinking Water Protected Areas but the plant protection product market is constantly changing. In 2015, the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) of the HSE registered 957 new product authorisations, 1159 withdrawals and 288 amendments in the UK. Proactive management of pesticide contamination as part of the Drinking Water Safety Plan approach requires knowledge of pesticide use, fate and behaviour in the environment and treatability but this information is not currently available in a complete, up-to-date and accessible form. As a result, water companies are forced to respond reactively to new and emerging pesticide risks in catchments.
BUSINESS BENEFITS TO CLIENTS
- Efficient extraction of information from the CRD Register of Authorised Products.
- Up-to-date knowledge of pesticide products approved in the UK and understanding of implications for managing drinking water quality
- Proactive protection of raw water sources through early detection and management of emerging risks.
- Better informed strategic and tactical decisions regarding monitoring strategies, risk assessment, catchment investigations and treatment optimisation.
- Fulfil obligations to meet corporate and regulatory targets related to compliance with drinking water quality standards.
- Extract from CRD Register of UK Authorised Products data on new pesticide product authorisations, withdrawals and amendments.
- For active ingredients without a UKWIR Toxicity Datasheet, collate available data on their physico-chemical properties to infer their fate and behaviour in water and likely removal during treatment. Rank actives by potential threat to drinking water supplies.
- For identified high risk active ingredients, identify target crops, cropping patterns and trends, application method, recommended dose rates, timing of application and available analytical methods. Evaluate potential effectiveness of catchment-based mitigation measures and conventional and novel water treatment processes.
- Create standardised and easy to read fact sheets for high risk active ingredients.
- Draws together existing information sources to provide clear, up-to-date picture of changing risks.
- Provides water industry with shared assessment of emerging risks, enabling a prompt, co-ordinated response at UK level.
- Supports delivery of Drinking Water Safety Plan approach to risk assessment and management.
- Leverages WRc expertise in chemical risk assessment and contacts with UK and EU regulators and agrochemical manufacturers.
RELATED WRc WORK
- Toxicity Advisory Service (UKWIR)
- Review of monitoring and occurrence of certain agricultural pesticides in surface and ground waters throughout Europe (Agrochemical manufacturers)
- Evidence review of catchment strategies for managing metaldehyde (UKWIR)
- Treatment for new and emerging pesticides (UKWIR)