Managing Metaldehyde in Drinking Water Catchments

August 28, 2013 Categories: Latest News

A number of water companies have undertakings for metaldehyde - a widely used molluscicide - and are either carrying out catchment investigations or working actively with farmers and other stakeholders to reduce metaldehyde concentrations in drinking water supplies.

Following widespread water quality compliance failures in 2012, WRc has been commissioned by UKWIR to undertake a comparative evaluation of the effectiveness of current strategies for controlling metaldehyde in drinking water and use this to produce an evidence-based assessment of the role catchment management can play in managing the risk.

The objectives of the project are: 

  • To summarise the current extent and severity of metaldehyde non-compliance and the water industry’s current response to it.
  • To review the effectiveness of catchment management and abstraction management in limiting metaldehyde concentrations in drinking water.
  • To highlight key evidence gaps and examples of best practice.
  • To assess the potential and limitations of current management approaches.
  • To identify what additional measures and mechanisms may be required to prevent future non-compliance. 

The project idea was initially developed by WRc under its collaborative research programme and is being delivered by a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in diffuse pollution, water treatment, catchment management and policy evaluation.

An interim workshop held on 15 August brought together representatives from water companies, regulators, agro-chemical companies and the farming sector to debate future control options, and a final dissemination workshop is scheduled for 17 October 2013. 

For further information contact Dr Andrew Davey on 01793 865023 or

SIMON AYLEY Key Account DirectorTel: +44 (0) 1793 865085