PROTECTING WATER QUALITY
Apple growers have a responsibility to prevent pesticide from contaminating surface bodies of water and groundwater supplies. Over 90% of the rural population in the U.S. depends on groundwater as their supply of drinking water. Groundwater is very difficult to clean if it does become polluted. Listed below are a few practices that can help prevent water contamination. Contact Cooperative Extension for more information.
Consider the potential for rinse water, spills, application or erosion to create pesticide laden run-off which can reach a surface body of water. If you do not have a self-contained mixing pad, use an area where the run-off risk is low. If you are working near a stream or pond, give special consideration to run-off hazard when selecting the pesticide to use.
Use an anti-backflow device when filling the spray tank.
Periodically change the location of field mixing areas. Be aware of the location and condition of wells, stay at least 50 feet away from wells. Special caution is needed around wells with cracked casings. Keep pesticide storage and mixing areas away from ponds and springs.
Be aware of the soil types, geology, and depth of water table in your local area. The potential for pesticide leaching into groundwater is generally greater on ledge, sandy soils, or other soils low in organic matter. The risk increases when the water table is close to the surface. Try to choose pesticides with a low leachability hazard if you are working under these conditions.
Keep spray equipment accurately calibrated. Use proper procedures for pesticide storage and disposal.
On to Restricted Entry Interval, Pesticide Residue Tolerance, and Preharvest Interval
1996-1997 New England Apple Pest Management Guide