Anglian Water is offering farmers in Essex the opportunity to get rid of redundant or unapproved pesticides free of charge.
A pesticide amnesty is being launched in the county for farms in the Ardleigh Reservoir and River Colne catchment and will run from now until the end of January 2018.
The Ardleigh Reservoir supplies a large amount of the drinking water to Colchester and the surrounding area after treatment at the local Water Treatment Works.
Some farmers may have out of date or unwanted pesticides in storage and they can be difficult or expensive to dispose of. Anglian Water is aiming to provide a useful service for farmers whilst also protecting water courses in the area from the risk of unintended contamination.
Gary Hodgetts, Anglian Water’s Catchment Advisor for Essex, said: “Pesticides are a vital part of the modern farm business and we know that farmers in Essex do all they can to use and store them responsibly.
“However, there are often pesticides left over at the end of the season and sometimes these can go out of date. There are also chemicals which were bought legitimately but which have now been withdrawn from the market. These unwanted chemicals could pose a risk to water quality if they are not disposed of properly.
“Although we can remove many chemicals from raw water before we put it into supply a far more sustainable, long term solution is to work alongside farmers to reduce the chance of pesticides getting into the water in the first place.
“As well as initiatives like this, our advisory team are meeting hundreds of farmers to help them protect water quality. This could include changing the way chemicals are applied or swapping some of the more tricky pesticides for alternatives that break down quicker.”
“We’ve already had great success with similar pesticide amnesties in Lincolnshire and Norfolk, collecting over five tonnes of unused chemicals. Now it’s the turn of the surface water catchments which flow into Ardleigh reservoir.
Farmers can check if they are in the target area by calling Gary, Anglian Water’s Catchment Advisor for Essex on 07802856632
There is no charge for the service and collection will be anonymous.
To book a collection call David Brown, ChemClear Ltd on 07436 077304 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Details of collections will remain confidential between the applicant and ChemClear Ltd.
For more information on Anglian Water’s work with farmers visit – www.anglianwater.co.uk/farming