Farmers and others using pesticides are being urged to use best practice when spraying, to protect the region's drinking water, according to Fine Gael General Election candidate Alan Dillon.
Irish Water have confirmed that exceedances in pesticides are on the increase across Mayo, with exceedances detected this week in the Newport public water supply while in 2018, Westport, Louisburg and Kiltimagh water supply schemes were all affected.
The Dail Eireann candidate whose background is in science understands the threat to public health and says “careless storage, handling and improper application means pesticides ends up in drinking water, leading to breaches of drinking water regulations.
"It's imperative that those using pesticides are mindful of best practice when spraying their lands, pesticides are mobile in the environment and often move through water, air and soil where a single drop of pesticide is enough to breach the drinking water limit in a small stream for up to 30 kilometres,” according to Dillon.
"In Ireland, 82% of drinking water supplies come from surface water sources - such as rivers, lakes and streams - and such supplies are vulnerable to contamination from land and animal run-off."
Dillon concluded by saying: "Irish Water should continue to monitor the water quality in the Newport area and also ensure Mayo County Council and local people that the water supply is safe for use, and for drinking."