CHESHIRE farmers are being encouraged to help reduce the amount of pesticides going into watercourses in and around Northwich.

As part of the effort, United Utilities(UU), is offering farmers money off slug pellets which is aimed at improving water quality

A spokesman for UU said many of the slug pellets commonly used by farmers at this time of year contain the active ingredient metaldehyde, which during heavy rainfall can run off farmland and flow through field drains into watercourses.

To help improve raw water quality in its Cheshire and North Wales drinking water catchment areas United Utilities is encouraging farmers to use an alternative type of slug pellet which is easier to treat.

Kate Snow from United Utilities explained: “Good progress has been made in recent years to reduce the amount of metaldehyde getting into to watercourses but more can still be done.

“Ferric phosphate pellets are just as effective as metaldehyde pellets, and easier to treat, which is why we’re hoping more farmers will use them by offering fifty per cent off the price.

“And if farmers have already bought metaldehyde pellets it’s not too late, we can help them make the switch at no extra cost.

“By controlling the amount of pesticides flowing into raw water we can reduce the need for costly treatment processes which is better for the environment and better value for our customers,” she added.

Farmers can find out if they’re eligible for this offer by contacting the appropriate catchment advisor for the River Dane catchment area contact:

More information for farmers about metaldehyde and slug control is provided at