10 August 2016
Levels of the pesticide Oxadixyl in Jersey waters are currently stable and Jersey Water has not had to use a recent temporary ‘dispensation’ or exemption granted by the Minister for the Environment.
Oxadixyl was used on potato crops up to 2003 and then withdrawn. It was found in untreated water samples earlier this year when Jersey Water changed the laboratory it uses for testing water samples.
Val de la Mare reservoir was taken out of service earlier this year due to Oxadixyl levels in the streams feeding the reservoir. The dispensation was granted as a precautionary measure so that Jersey Water could blend water from Val de la Mare with other reservoirs to supply mains water during the summer.
Minister for the Environment, Deputy Steve Luce said “I’m encouraged by the leveling off of Oxadixyl in the streams. Consequently, Jersey Water hasn’t needed to use the dispensation and our water remains below the legal limit. Jersey Water is continuing to blend water from several reservoirs to make this happen.
“I am also encouraged that levels of the other pesticides found earlier in the year during the planting of potatoes, whilst still present, are being detected at much lower levels and are below the legal limit.”
He added “The Environment Department and Jersey Water continue to work closely with farmers – in particular to see how we can reduce the likelihood of this year’s problems recurring. My department has also developed a Water Plan to tackle some of the pressures on our water environment, one of which is clearly pesticides.”