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Facility for testing agrichemicals on farm streams to open in 2018

The E-Flows mesocosm facility at Fera’s National Agri-Food Innovation Campus, Sand Hutton near York will allow manufacturers of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, plant growth regulators, soil sterilants and molluscicides to examine the effect their products have on ‘edge of field’ aquatic habitats.

The facility is made up of 60 independent realistic streams, each up to two metres wide and ten metres long, each having a continuous matched supply of aged freshwater.  

Each stream has a base volume of up to 4000 litres, which can be supplied with non-recirculated, fully flow through freshwater at up to five litres per minute per unit.  

The flow can be slow flowing, like ditches, or almost still, like ponds. The biota established in each unit will be in accordance with the type of habitat being simulated.

Exposures can be pulsed in a way that is close to conditions in real edge-of-field waterbodies after rainfall events and from drain flows.

The E-Flows facility will help agrichemical companies optimise risk assessment at high tier testing. This will enable them to develop marketable products by providing regulators with the information they need to approve registration,

The E-Flows mesocosm will be available for risk assessment projects and other research projects involving effects on lowland aquatic habitats from spring 2018.

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