The use of certain products in class I or II groundwater basins is prohibited. This is indicated on the product’s sales packaging. This restriction prevents easily migrating plant protection products or their degradation products from entering the groundwater and thus drinking water.
In the Plant Protection Product Register you can find the products whose use is restricted or entirely prohibited in groundwater basins.
Please also remember that plant protection products with groundwater restrictions cannot be used in the vicinity of wells and springs even if these are not located in a groundwater basin.
The groundwater restriction normally follows a standard format with the following items:
- The plant protection product and/or its degradation product can migrate through the soil, so its use is prohibited in important groundwater basins or other groundwater basins that are suitable for water intake, groundwater basin classes I and II.
- You must leave a 30–100 metres wide buffer zone not treated with plant protection products to drinking water wells and springs.
- Plant protection products should not be used on medium sand soils or coarser soil types.
If research data on the practical use of the specific plant protection product in Finland’s farming conditions is available, the standard groundwater restriction has been modified accordingly to be more relevant to farming. For example, the use of certain products approved for sugar beets has been restricted in groundwater basins according to the drainage of the field, the soil type and the amount of product used.
Finnish groundwater basins have been mapped and classified for water intake. You can check whether your fields are located in a groundwater basin:
- from the Finnish Environment Institute’s environmental map service Karpalo; or
- the Finnish Food Authority’s VIPU service.
Groundwater restrictions are based on the Finnish Environmental Protection Act, which imposes an absolute prohibition on the contamination of groundwater. This prohibition cannot be derogated from under any circumstances. Plant protection products belong to the substances that may not enter groundwater.