Poisonous pesticide found in tap water of 1.3 million

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A poisonous pesticide was discovered in the Maas river, the source of tap water to 1.3 million people in the west of Zuid-Holland, drinking water company Dunea announced on Monday. Dunea immediately stopped taking water from the Maas and switched the water intake to the Lek river until the problem is resolved.

According to Dunea, the water in the Lek river is of good quality and the water supply will simply continue without customers even noticing the emergency river. "We directly diverted to the Lek river, so we can 100 percent continue to deliver good and reliable drinking water to our customers.", Waal Malefijt, sector manager Water at Dunea, said in the press release.

Dunea is working with the Riverenland water board to investigate the source of the contamination. Once the source is known, the cost of the cleanup will be recovered from the perpetrator.

The contamination involves dimethoate, a pesticide used in agriculture and horticulture. There is no risk to public health, according to both Dunea and the water board. Though the substance may be harmful to the water life. The surface water in the ditches in Bommelerwaard is currently still safe to use for cattle and other agricultural purposes.

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