Pesticide levels in river water have increased despite pressure on farmers to reduce their impact on the environmental, says a shock report out today.
Eight per cent of river samples taken in 2005 exceeded the maximum permitted levels for drinking water.
It compared to just under six per cent in 2004 and was the highest level since monitoring began in 1998.
The figures are included in a report from the Pesticides Forum, which advises the Government.
They are based on Environment Agency routine monitoring of nine different pesticides at an undicslosed number of sites in England and Wales, which shows levels are on the increase despite farmners spending less on chemicals.
Pesticides Forum chairman James Clarke said: ``It is very disappointing."