'Real risk' of drinking water contamination for Yarragon and Darnum
Baw Baw News By William PJ Kulich // 18:08, Friday 7 June 2013
ENVIRONMENTAL organisation Friends of the Earth has expressed concerns over the number of pesticides found in the Narracan Creek catchment, which supplies drinking water to Yarragon and Darnum.
Ten pesticides commonly used by potato growers were detected by the Environment Protection Authority in a recent test of the Narracan Creek catchment.
FoE spokesperson Anthony Amis said the levels detected were not outside of guidelines, but there was a “very real risk” water quality could worsen.
“Although none of the samples breached Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, the amount of detections and types of pesticides detected indicate the very real risk of water supply contamination from pesticides.” Mr Amis said.
“Of further concern is that it is very likely that there would be a number of other pesticides used within the catchment that weren’t tested for by the EPA.”
Mr Amis criticised the irregularity of water monitoring in the area.
“Amplifying these concerns is the lack of permanent monitoring of the range of pesticides used within the catchment by Gippsland Water,” Mr Amis said.
“Current pesticide testing by Gippsland Water is unlikely to be frequent enough or test a wide enough range of pesticides to capture exactly what people drinking the water could be exposed to.”
A Gippsland Water spokesperson recently told the Latrobe Valley Express the catchment’s water was tested regularly, water quality was the organisation’s primary concern and there was no reason for public concern.
But concerns over what’s in the water remain.
“What pesticides have people been exposed to over the last 50 years through their drinking water?” Mr Amis said.
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