300,000+ Queenslanders exposed to weedkillers in drinking water?

Friends of the Earth Australia

Of most concern appears to be the Pioneer River at Mackay, where the Pesticide Portal reported over 5000 pesticide detections over the past decade near the offtake to Mackay’s drinking water supply. Whilst almost all of the detections were lower than the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. two detections of the herbicides Diuron and Atrazine breached the guidelines by almost 20 times in 2013.

Atrazine has been banned in Europe. Any detection of a pesticide above 0.1 parts per billion is regarded as a drinking water breach in Europe and the source of the pollution requires the water authority to locate the source and attempt to stop the pollution from occurring.

FoE claims that 27,000 detections of pesticides above 0.1 parts per billion have occurred in Queensland since 2012, meaning that locating the exact source of the pollution almost an impossible exercise.

It also is apparent that current pesticide labels appear to be next to useless in stopping pesticide pollution of waterways.

FoE is also concerned that the current Drinking Water Guidelines for a number of pesticides, particularly those that can impact on the endocrine system, may be set too high.

The main concern areas appear to be Mackay, Marian, Bundaberg, Ayr, Home Hill, Giru/Cungulla, Ingham, Biloela, Capella, Comet, Prairie, Baralaba and Jandowae.


/Public Release.