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About your water

Seagahan Weed Wiping Project

A Rush Solution without Pollution...

High levels of the herbicide MCPA have been detected in Seagahan Reservoir near Markethill in Co. Armagh. In order to reduce these levels, NI Water are proposing a trial project, working with farmers and the local community to protect this valuable water source. This will involve a free weed-wiping service being delivered to farmers within this catchment area in the Summer of 2017 and 2018.

What's the problem?

The water in the reservoir at Seagahan is treated and used to supply quality drinking water to NI Water’s customers in the surrounding area. Water quality in Seagahan Dam is affected by activities on land in the surrounding catchment area. Routine monitoring of water in the dam has shown high levels of grassland pesticides such as MCPA, which could be from agricultural activity such as controlling rush infestation using a boom sprayer applicator.

Be assured that the final drinking water quality is of a high standard and meets all the required water quality standards. However extra treatment is required as a result of the water quality in the Seagahan Dam, which increases cost in order to maintain the necessary high drinking water standards for customers in the area.

What’s the Solution?

NI Water is working with The Water Catchment Partnership and the farming industry as part of an innovative campaign to help reduce levels of MCPA in the Seagahan Reservoir catchment area. It is planned to offer a free weed-wiping service using Glyphosate, as an alternative to spraying MCPA, to demonstrate an alternative effective rush control method which causes less pollution. The overall aim is to show that pesticide levels can be reduced in the reservoir without the need for more expensive water treatment processes. This can then be used as a test project to demonstrate the benefits of NI Water working together with farmers and possibly doing more of these type of initiatives in future in other areas. 

The project will involve a Farm Liaison Officer working with farmers and land managers to manage the weed-wiping and provide accurate advice on handling, applying and disposing of grassland sprays, guidance on mechanical control of rushes and improving land condition to addressing the underlying causes of infestations.

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