Research underlines pollution risks from sheep dip chemicals

New environmental quality standards (EQSs) for sheep dip chemicals in water are likely to be proposed later this year. Tighter controls on sheep dip disposal practices, which appear to be causing widespread breaches of EC groundwater protection rules, will be needed to ensure compliance.

The disposal of waste sheep dip is a serious threat to water quality in upland Britain. The common practice of dumping the wastes in holes in the ground called soakaways has led to repeated contamination of surface waters in upland catchments (ENDS Reports 194, p 8 and 197, pp 9-10).

In 1991, a statutory code of good agricultural practice to protect waters recommended spreading of waste dip on farmland, but did not prohibit soakaways (END

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