Protect your water supply from backsiphoning of pesticides

There are easy steps to prevent backsiphoning of pesticides into your water supply.

Backsiphoning of pesticides into water sources when filling sprayers is a dangerous occurrence. Pesticides are inadvertently “poured” into wells, rivers, lakes, etc. by accident. Preventing this problem is quite easily solved and requires minimal, if any, financial obligations.

To prevent backsiphoning follow these simple procedures:

  1. Fill the spray tank with water before adding pesticide
  2. Fill on an impervious surface or, if you fill in-field, rotate location
  3. Fill the tank from an offset hydrant that is at least 150 feet from the wellhead. If this is not feasible, get a 150 foot hose and fill 150 feet away from wellhead
  4. Secure the water hose 6 inches above the tank opening to ensure at least a 6 inch air gap
  5. Use an anti-backflow device on pumping equipment
  6. If chemigating and/or fertigating use a legal anti-backflow device.

For more information on proper filling of sprayers consult your MSU Extension office. For more information on anti-backflow devices for irrigation systems contact your local health department or MSU Extension office.

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