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Pesticides detected in groundwater


Based on the information provided by the Lithuanian Geological Survey (LGS) under the Ministry of Environment which investigates groundwater contamination under the State Environmental Monitoring Programme, lately some of the results of groundwater investigations have been of concern. Pesticide degradation products have been detected in groundwater.

According to Jonas Satkūnas, Director of the LGS, previous groundwater investigations did not reveal pesticide contamination as the majority of state monitoring posts was equipped in non-arable land. During the recent years, investigations have been carried out based on the active substances used to kill weeds in rape and potato fields which account for the major share of the country’s arable land.

In 2015, the grounds with an area of 1-3 ha were selected for special investigations, and a network of monitoring bores was installed. In 2015–2016, monitoring was carried out by two independent institutions. Laboratory tests were conducted in Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

The pesticides detected in groundwater are used in approx. 8 per cent of arable land used for rape or potato production. At the time of crop rotation, these areas can expand and therefore the pollution risk may increase. According to Agnė Kniežaitė-Gofmanė, Director of the Water Department of the Ministry of Environment, one of the main ways to prevent this situation is responsible behaviour of farmers. They must use plant protection products according to the set rules. Farmers should have a duty to declare the amount, the areas and the kind of plant protection products used, and based on this information, monitoring for pesticides in surface and groundwater should be planned and carried out.

Communication Division
9 March 2017

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas