Some chemicals can be particularly toxic to aquatic organisms, wildlife and some important ecological insects such as dung beetles when used without reading the manufacturers label. Do not allow chemicals to enter water runoff, for example into storm drains or drainage ditches that could enter dams, water courses or surface water. Avoid treating animals with sprays in windy weather as spray drift could cause safety risks and off-target effects. Be particularly careful when mixing concentrates and make sure all manufacturer label and safety directions are followed. Pour-ons and injectables also must be used according to the manufacturers label and directions.
At times dips may need to be pumped out. A bunded (watertight) area to contain the dip wash should be used. Preferably an area with growing pasture and where sunlight and soil bacteria will degrade the chemicals should be designated for this purpose. Ensure that the dip wash cannot enter watercourses, dams or ponds. Stock should not graze this area for at least 3 months unless a shorter or longer interval is indicated on the product label.
Very old dip sites can sometimes have remaining residues of persistent chemicals such as arsenic and organochlorines that were used in the 1960s and earlier. These chemicals have been prohibited for animal use for many years. However, it is important to be aware of this risk, particularly before re-commissioning old dips. Livestock should not be given access to old dip sites, they should be fenced off. Seek advice if you are concerned.