Glyphosate Facts

Transparency on safety aspects and use of glyphosate-containing herbicides in Europe


Drinking water quality and glyphosate

Numerous studies have shown that glyphosate and AMPA are readily removed by typical chemical/oxidative disinfections, which are standard water treatment processes used for drinking water production 10, 11.  Other processes commonly used in water treatment (bankside or dune infiltration, coagulation/clarification/filtration and slow sand filtration) each contribute to the removal, but with a lower efficiency than the disinfection processes.

(© Lupo /
The drinking water monitoring data show that glyphosate and AMPA are not a genuine technical problem for the drinking water producers. A review of the detection of glyphosate and AMPA in drinking water in nine European countries showed that in most cases no exceedances of the 0.1 µg/L pesticides threshold were reported, although a small number of sporadic results >0.1 µg/L were identified 3. None of these were considered significant; i.e., they were isolated detections not requiring improvement measures. In some cases the exceedances were attributed to analytical problems, in others they related to wells recharged from surface water or small private wells (untreated water) from shallow aquifers, which may have been due to localised short-term well contamination. Exceeding the very stringent drinking water threshold will not pose a significant risk to the consumers, as the health based standards for glyphosate and AMPA in drinking water are 50000 times higher than the EU trigger value (WHO, Drinking Water Guidelines, paragraph 12.65).


Cited references


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Last update: 25 October 2012