Meuse contaminated with agricultural poison, intake stop for drinking water


The Waterleiding Maatschappij Limburg (WML) has stopped taking Meuse water for the drinking water supply. The Maas is polluted with too high concentrations of prosulcarb, an agricultural poison.

The pollution was discovered ten days ago. Prosulcarb is a weed killer that is widely used in agriculture. "Rijkswaterstaat has measured the high concentration in the water at the level of the border at Eijsden and immediately warned us," says Koen Augstijn of the WML against 1 Limburg. "We then immediately stopped drinking water from the Maas."

The maximum limit for this substance is a microgram per liter of Meuse water. "Now it was about two micrograms," Augustijn explains. As a precaution, water company Evides in Rotterdam has also stopped taking Maaswater.

Source of the pollution

The intake of drinking water from the Meuse has now stopped for ten days, but according to Augustijn that will not cause any problems for the time being. "We have saved up water for a month in a large drinking water basin. If that runs out, we can switch to deep groundwater."

It happens more often that contamination is found in the Maas. "We have a intake stop approximately 50 times a year," says Augustijn. "They usually take less time than the current intake stop."

It is not yet clear when the intake stop will be lifted. According to Augustijn, the Meuse water is now checked daily, but the substance is still in it. "The value must be a few days lower than a microgram per liter." Together with the Belgians, Rijkswaterstaat is looking for the source of the pollution.

Earlier, water companies warned that the Maas is slowly becoming too uncertain as a source of drinking water:

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