Slug poison was found in one in eight rivers and reservoirs used for drinking water in England and Wales according to the Environment Agency’s (EA) most recent survey.
This has prompted environmentalists to call for greater use of natural predators instead of chemicals. Last November, levels 100 times higher than EU regulations were detected at a water treatment intake on the River Stour in Essex, which supplies water to homes in Essex and Suffolk.
Levels spiked in late 2011 and persisted into 2012 due to wet weather creating runoff and ideal slug breeding conditions.
The obvious source of slug pellets is our gardens, but huge quantities of this chemical are also being used to grow rape seed oil, winter beans, sugar beet and brassicas such as broccoli.
There is currently no regulation to stop widespread use of the chemical and Pond Conservation director Jeremy Biggs said current methods for limiting runoff were ineffective, although he added there were few concerns about human health.