Local contamination occurs as a result of plant protection product escaping into the environment in concentrated or diluted form, as a result of incidents during filling, transport or as a result of washing equipment in an unsuitable place. It can also be the result of spillage from abandoned plant protection product packaging. A common feature is the occurrence of contamination at one site from where it can spread, usually with water, endangering the environment.
Every time a crop protection product package is opened, a preparation is measured, poured or poured into the sprayer or formulation inductor, the concentrate is prepared and poured into the sprayer tank, and then topped up with water to the planned volume of the spray liquid, there is a high risk that the crop protection product will accidentally be spilled, poured, overfilled or foamed, and as a result will escape into an undesirable area. Therefore, these operations should be carried out in a protected, paved area where any spillage, spills or leaks can be easily collected or washed away in a controlled manner that is safe for people and the environment. The best solution is to have a place where the sprayer can be safely filled and washed, as close as possible to the plant protection product storage area and equipped with an installation for disposal of water contaminated with these products. There are several types of installations described in Area 9: Agricultural Chemicals and Waste Management, and in the publication: ZANIECZYSZCZENIA-MIEJSCOWE_PORADNIK_BIOREMEDIACJA-2.pdf (bezpiecznie.org).
Residues remaining after treatment with the crop protection agent must be dealt with in a manner that reduces the risk of contamination of surface water, groundwater and soil. Residues of the spray liquid after treatment must be treated:
- use after dilution on the treated surface where the plant protection product was applied – if possible, or
- be disposed of using technical solutions ensuring biological degradation of the active substances of plant protection products (e.g. Biobed, Phytobac®), or
- dispose of in a manner other than that outlined above if it complies with waste legislation, e.g. by transferring for disposal as hazardous waste.
Cleaning of equipment for the application of plant protection products shall be carried out in such a manner as to minimise the risk of environmental contamination and at a distance of not less than 30 m from wells, water intakes and bodies of water. If carried out on a hardened and sealed sprayer washing station where contaminated water is collected for disposal, the 30 m distance requirement does not apply. If carried out in an agricultural field, it is mandatory to do so in a different location each time, so as not to provoke significant contamination of the local soil or water. Under no circumstances must the water from washing the equipment enter drainage waters or municipal sewers. Discharging it into, for example, manure leachate, slurry or other liquid by-products generated on the farm will endanger the crops treated and the environment. The location of the sprayer is important in the event of residues of plant protection products remaining on its surface, which can be washed away by rain and enter watercourses and soil beyond human control.