Drinking water is a chance. All you have to do is turn on your tap to be able to safely drink treated and filtered water, normally free of anything that could harm your health. As the Ministry of Health explains, tap water is one of the most controlled foods in France, because “it is subject to permanent health monitoring, intended to guarantee its health safety”.
Among the substances eliminated are nitrates and pesticides, the latter being present in the water “by runoff or infiltration into the soil”, specifies the ministry. “The long-term health effects of exposure to low doses of pesticides are difficult to assess. The majority of pesticide intake through food comes from the consumption of fruits and vegetables”, concludes the ministry on its site.
However, as franceinfo explains, analyzes carried out in thousands of municipalities have shown that the presence of pesticides was sometimes higher than the quality limits. This is the observation drawn up by the program Complément d’Enquête, which will be broadcast this Thursday, September 22 on France 2 and which is precisely interested in our drinking water. In its latest report published in December 2021, the Ministry of Health explains that in 2020, “94.1% of the population was supplied with water that permanently complied with quality limits”. In 48 departments, “more than 98% of the population was served by water that constantly respected the quality limits for pesticides”, it is added. 20 departments have nothing to be ashamed of, because the water distributed was “permanently compliant for the entire population”.
Nevertheless, according to the map published in this report, a dozen departments are worse off than the others. Within these, only a small proportion of the population was served by water that consistently met the quality limits for pesticides, between 20 and 77%. We are a long way from the 98% or even 100% posted by around fifty other departments. What are these territories where the level of pesticides in tap water does not always meet quality requirements? The answer in the slideshow below.