The quasi-totality of the French can drink without fear the tap water, but 2.8 million people have access only to polluted water.
Pesticides, nitrates, or lead… To nearly three million French, the tap water is polluted by these substances, announcement of the UFC-Choosing in a study, Thursday, 26 January. The consumers ‘ association has analysed the networks serving the 36 600 communes of France, on the basis of data of the ministry of health.
” The overall finding is very reassuring. “, she thought first, as 95.6% of consumers receive water that ” respect the upper-hand all of the regulatory limits, and this throughout the year “. However, 2.8 million people, mainly inhabitants of small rural municipalities, ” receive a water non-compliant “, she says then.
consumers can learn about the water quality of their tap by visiting an interactive map on the website of the association.
The three major responsible
officials are named in the study : agricultural pollution caused by pesticides and nitrates. Pesticides are ” far “ the leading cause of non-compliance. They contaminate the water of two million consumers, mostly rural, in regions of intensive agriculture. The UFC specifies :
” The molecules found are essentially of the herbicides, “, such as atrazine, a herbicide that is now banned but (…) especially long-lasting in the environment “.
then Come the nitrates which pollute the water of nearly 200,000 consumers, in particular in the Loiret, Seine-et-Marne, the Yonne, the Aube, the Marne, Pas-de-Calais and the Somme, the study notes.
The bacterial contamination constitute the third source of pollution. They relate to 200 000 people and mainly affect the small rural communes de montagne (Alps, Massif central, Pyrenees). They are due to ” to the defects of monitoring or outdated facilities “, says the association.
Attention to lines
In its release, the UFC-Choosing alert on the presence of ” toxic ingredients “ in the pipes of homes : lead, copper, nickel, or vinyl chloride, ” relargués by piping the decayed or corroded “.
She points out that this pollution is poorly measured, as a result of” a very low number of samples “ which ” do not permit to know the actual exposure of the consumer “. The NGO considers the various forms of pollution of tap water ” so much less acceptable that the alarm is given for a long time and the good remedies, are still not applied “.
Apply the principle of ” polluter pays “
If the tap water is almost everywhere consistent with the standards, ” this is not because agriculture would have amended its practices “ but because ” expensive clean-up funded 87 % by consumers, and only 6 % by the farmers, “, says the UFC.
The association calls for the application of the principle “polluter-pays” principle, in particular by an increase in the taxation of pesticides, ” a national audit “ of the toxic components of pipelines and assistance for individuals to replace their pipes in case of pollution with lead.