Surface water

Surface water catchment management

We work with farmers in the surface water catchments shown on the map below:

Each catchment has been designated a drinking water safeguard zone by the Environment Agency. Certain substances must be managed carefully to prevent the pollution of raw water sources that are used to provide drinking water.

We work with the farmers inside the safeguard zone to:

  • raise awareness of surface water quality issues
  • share the results of water, soil, crop and manure testing that we have carried out for them
  • provide advice and information about ways of improving the efficiency of how their crops use key inputs such as fertilisers and pesticides
  • compensate the farmer (where appropriate) for adopting alternative practices. An example of this is encouraging farmers to establish buffer strips to prevent soil and pesticides washing into watercourses.

The graph below shows the metaldehyde (a commonly used slug pellet) trend in Durleigh reservoir before and after catchment management started. 

For more information about surface water catchment management please email Mike Dyer, pesticides specialist.