Treatment of drinking water and its impact on residues of glyphosate and its main metabolite AMPA*
Water treatment processes in the EU are applied routinely to raw water (e.g., taken from rivers or groundwater) destined for drinking water supply.
The exact combination of methods utilised is typically adapted to the water source to assure the highest quality standards.
Water treatment processes are carefully controlled by water suppliers, which enables the optimisation of the treatments’ steps, and ensures quality standards are met at the tap of consumers.
When it comes to drinking water production, the predominant portion of raw water is subjected to disinfection. 99.9% of the raw water taken directly from surface water is disinfected (e.g., by chlorine disinfection) to remove traces of chemicals of various potential origin (including agrochemicals) to ensure that the substances are below the required threshold values.
The same applies to glyphosate and its metabolite AMPA, which are very readily degraded by the common disinfection methods (especially chlorination).
* Aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) is the main metabolite of glyphosate.
- Van der Hoek et al., 2014, Drinking water treatment technologies in Europe: state of the art – challenges – research needs, Journal of Water Supply: Research and Technology-AQUA, 63.2, 124-130
- Jönsson (2020, KCA 7.5/84)